A few weeks ago, I had an argument with my wife. I was so upset that I got so furious that I punched the wall. Guess what happened? Yeah, you are damn right. I hurt my knuckles. At that moment of emotional outburst, I wasn’t thinking. Purely emotional anger overwhelmed me.
After the incident, I went into the car, not to drive around but to pause for awhile. Meditate on what just happened, and why? It could have been at lot worst. I could have injured my operating hand which could have ended my surgical career. Or worst, I could have hurt my loved ones.
Emotions are powerful. It is hard to control because it controls us. It could bring out the worst in us. The monsters in us that awaits awakening. What is so frightening is that we could regret, most of it, all the time. An emotional outburst that obscure our logical thinking. It could bring out the worst in us. Once you hurt yourself or your family, it can never be undone. No amount of regret will removed the scar that it would left behind. It can heal. But the mark will always be fresh from your memory. Learning how to control emotional outburst is a skill that I need to learn.
As surgeons, it not only the art and science of medicine that we need to master. But the ability to control our emotions under pressure. I have witnessed in monster in me. Trust me, it wasn’t pretty. I hope and pray that I would never go into berserk mode again. I am sure that I would regret the words that I would say and things that I would do.
It was a stupid mistake. But the scar in my right knuckle will always be there. A constant reminder of the monster in me.
Now, I am trying to do breathing exercise to relax and clear my mind even before opening my mouth. I hope that you learn how to control your emotional anger especially when you are in argument with your loved ones. It is the words that we say and things we do that hurts them most. It’s not obvious physical harm but rather the invisible scar of constant emotional pain that causes greatest pain.