My sons once lured my husband and me into Trivia Crack addiction. In doing so, they brought out a deeply buried emotion. At least, it’s one I try to keep stuck in the most remote regions of my mind but suspect comes out more than I realize.
Years ago, frustration ruled and reigned in my life, usually in the form of hurtful words toward myself and others. In fact, my volatility became a point of humor at times. Nothing is more frustrating than being teased over how easily you become frustrated.
Frustration brought out the worst in my temper, which did a nice job on its own, too. At one point, I felt out of control. When I realized how easily frustration came and how anger almost always followed, I knew I needed to find a way to break frustration’s hold on me.
My descent into Trivia Crack mania and discovering that my oldest son is way smarter than me reminded me how easily frustration could grip my self-esteem. When I realized this, I reached into my anti-frustration toolbox to again tame the animal before anger followed it its wake. Here’s what consistently works for me:
- Walk away. When the tension begins to build deep within my gut and the self-insults begin to fly carelessly out of my mouth, off goes the game. When I recognize the early signals of frustration and walk away, I begin the process of turning off my frustration.
- Find a distraction. Once I walk away from frustration, I must walk directly to a distraction. Reading. Watching a movie. Exercising. Cleaning. Anything to get my mind off the cause of my frustration before I begin to stew and boil.
- Pray. When frustrated, my prayers resemble a “deliver me or I’m going to die or go to jail” sort of desperation. Of course, the preventative approach prevails in effectiveness, but I fail to always remember to pray for help with frustration until I’m deep in its throes.
Generally speaking, frustration visits my psyche much less today than in my younger days. Yet, it does still seem to sneak up on me from time to time in a cumulative, frog-in-the-frying-pan sort of way. This process truly helps squelch the animal before the ugly really comes out. Staying well rested, healthy, and prayed up makes the episodes flee sooner and stay relatively mild too.
A Continuing Struggle
I cannot forget that frustration always exists as a struggle for me. Perhaps God gave me an insanely patient husband to balance me a bit in this area. For sure, a certain diligent awareness must always exist on my part to prevent frustration’s return to the throne. Lastly, great comfort comes in this struggle of mine through the words of 2 Corinthians 12:9.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is make perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
In this battle with one of my greatest weaknesses, Christ’s power shows itself in the specific activity that counteracts frustration. Nothing mystical takes place. Just a simple “do this” kind of instruction that leads me away from frustration.