Anger does indeed have a “pause” button.
I was angry. I wanted to say things like: “Ugh… again? I cannot begin to describe how disappointed I am in you.”
I looked at the two messages. I wanted to respond with the intention to hurt, but didn’t. Instead, I clicked the screen off and went outside to walk. The winter night was calming and the trees were decked with lights. I started to forget about my anger, my disappointment. After a while, all that was left was a small hint of disappointment. I clicked my screen on, and looked at the two messages again.
It wasn’t even that big of a deal. Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect. I’m not perfect. Why was I so prepared to blow such a small problem out of proportion? I would be like saying, “No! You are not allowed to make mistakes. You are not allowed to be human!”
Angry impulses feel good, they tempt you with revenge. But no, that is a bad mindset. Mentally, I took a step back–pressed the pause button–took anger, and replaced it with forgiveness.
In the short-term, anger yields immediate reward but has long-term consequences. Forgiveness, although harder to harness, requires short-term effort, but yields long-term rewards.