Every once in a while this led to an encounter with the chef that included a very harsh exchange. Both chef and server screaming at each other certainly would make for an unpleasant evening. The toughest part here was the server had to immediately go back out to the dining room with a smile on his face and a calm, cool demeanor.
Have you ever gotten so mad at someone you wanted to scream? Uh huh.
What if in the next instant you have to be sweet and empathetic? That can be a tall order... unless you have the right reasons and a bit of practice to motivate you and get you there.
There Before You Know ItThe arguments with chef would come out of nowhere. Before I knew it I was in a knock down, drag out debate (about food no less. Yeesh!) and as I headed out to my guests in the dining room I had a choice to make. Do I carry part of my rage out to them or do I fix my body, fix my face and fix my attitude and return to them as a graceful and elegant individual.
Fortunately, I was able to "throw the switch." I activated my thought process. I would think about how important it was that my guests have a nice time. I would reflect on how silly it was to get that angry over food. I would decide that I was going to be the person I knew I was and wanted to be. That was up to me and me only. So I did it.
Anger Protected My PrideIt was extremely difficult at first because I wanted to hang on to the anger. It was my momentum. It was my strength. It was the pride I needed to keep me from feeling embarrassed or scared or feeling like I was losing. The problem was, that's not who I wanted to be.
Well after several encounters over the years, getting back to my calm, cool demeanor became easier and it would come much quicker. In fact, when these encounters would go bad, I may have been taken back at the moment they happened but I got to the point where I was able to change my mind nearly the instant I got angry.
Think First, Emotions FollowYes. The anger came. However, shifting to a poised, calm, cool and most importantly... thinking demeanor, was nearly instantaneous. By putting my focus on who I wanted to be in that moment took my focus off my anger.
Was it still there? Yep! However, over time my emotions began to conform to my thinking. Anger would dissolve quickly and fortitude began to take it's place.
Several times chef would pull higher managers into the issue we had with each other and every single time I came out looking good in the eyes of the big guy.
Why? I had an advantage. I wasn't angry anymore. I had a new found fortitude. I could think. My demeanor was calm while the other guy was clearly outraged. Who would you listen to? Who would you think got the details correct? Who had the advantage?
I Must Be Who I Am Supposed To BeThese experiences helped me understand that I may have emotions coursing through me and if I'm going to be the person I'm supposed to be I have to fight for it. It took a few encounters but once it became more important to be the person I was supposed to be and gave pride no value, I was set free.
All of these crazy stressful situations are different. However, you are the same person. Knowing who you are, who you are supposed to be and knowing where our Father wants to take you is information you must acquire.
I wouldn't say that it ever gets easier but the process of building fortitude becomes more familiar. That familiarity is a comfort in the storm and gives endurance that we otherwise may not have.
The LORD will work out his plans for my life - for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. - Psalms 138:8 NLT
Who are you? What kind of person do you want to be?
The scriptures say great things about the person the Lord made you to be. When you are born from heaven you become something new. Find out what that is.
I highly recommend a review of, You Must Seize This One Reality! There is a process of salvation that requires your participation. It is a path of knowing the Lord intimately, understanding who you are in Christ and taking action.
What are the reasons you need to be the person you should be?
Every situation is different. However, you are always you. :-) Do a quick review of, I Don't Know What To Do for God and read through the follow up articles by clicking the link after "Next >>>" at the bottom of the article.
You probably have great reasons to grow into the person you want to be. Use them! The scriptures also give us the reasons to become the person who God meant us to be. Find out what His motivation is and make it your own.
Please, add your thoughts in the comment section.