I think perhaps for the first time I have learned- the hard way- that I have an anger problem. Acknowledging this for myself is a fairly significant step for me. I know that others have tried to point this out to me in the past, asking “are you angry?” on several occasions when working through interpersonal stuff, but I was not at that time able to see or own it. It isn’t that I wouldn’t see it; I think it’s more that I was so busy working on all my other “stuff” that I couldn’t see it. Anyway, I’ve let it (my anger) get in the way of my right relating often enough that it is apparent to me now. Of course, I’ve long known that I have a heartfelt need to be known and accepted- even approved of- by those around me. This yearning for validation is keenly connected to my “baggage” from childhood. I want to be understood as someone who has overcome tremendous odds and in many ways has even flourished, often as a result of what I would like to think of as dogged determination. In any case, I have been presented with what I will heretofore think of as an opportunity to work on all this stuff- my anger, my need to be understood and validated. This opportunity comes in the form of a couple of interpersonal relationships in which my anger is routinely aroused and in which I have no realistic hope of ever being truly known or understood. This is very hard, but I hope, good. Naturally, my inclination is to run away from such relationships, but circumstances make that problematic, at best; so I must trust that the Holy Spirit has placed me precisely in the position I need to be in to grow in this way, and I will do my best to do so.