One of those two people was my spiritual director. When I told her I have been reading and meditating on the psalms, she suggested that some days I just read the angry psalms. I said, "You mean the 'smite them, O Lord' psalms?" She said those were the ones. I tend not to be comfortable with those psalms either, or those passages of the "nicer" psalms.
Well, today did not get off to a good start. My teenager was supposed to get himself up and to school on time so I could sleep in before my working weekend. He did not. Before he left, though, I totally lost it with him - yelling and stuff. I didn't quite rend my clothes and bang my head with rocks, but then again I hate mending clothes and didn't have any rocks to hand.
Normally I would spend the rest of the day talking myself out of my anger, especially at my kid - but the thing is that he has been shirking lately and I have every right to be angry. So I took my spiritual director's advice (I picture her reading this and smiling). When the readings laid out for me didn't include smite-y psalms, I sought one out. Psalm 94 was the winner - "God the Judge of All." It's a really good one if you want to be mad.
When my son came home I partially apologized for my harpy act. I admitted to bottling up my feelings about him too long so they all came out at once. I admitted that much of the charge or energy had nothing to do with him. "I'm going through a thing right now," I told him. "A lot is going on."
Although I apologized for what was not his fault I did mention, calmly but firmly, what was his fault. I held on to the part of my anger that was justified. I said he needed to shape up and keep his promises or there would be consequences. I meant it. I spent some time today setting up those consequences. He wasn't happy about that, but he has a right to his anger. Just like me. But the truth is that after a day of anger I am feeling pretty tired. Maybe I need more practice...