I have done my part, and whatever happens, will simply happen. But it will only happen at my choosing. That knowledge alone, is worth the few tears I shed. ___quoted from last post
After years of words that were not understood, or worse, misunderstood, I have learned to choose my words carefully. That sentence: But it will only happen at my choosing, was written deliberately and with thought. For many years, I held my anger deep inside because it was inappropriate, unseemly, foolish, or just plain wrong. Or so I had been taught. And in turn, I thought I was all those things because I felt them. It took me years to fully understand that feelings are feelings, a barometer to let me know what the temperature is in my environment at any given moment. A simple gage, that allows me to access the information I need to be able to choose how I want to respond inside of that situation. Obviously, as a child, I jumped to the conclusion that if anger spoken was wrong, bad, or not okay, then silence would be the only way to deal with it.
Although a childish, therefore only partial solution, it still remains one of my choices. A good one in the appropriate situation, even as an adult. Let me explain. Anger is an energy flow provided by the system to allow for action. It is not bad, good, and hardly indifferent. It is simply the energy we need to either stand and fight, or to flee and save further action for another day. As an energy flow, it can be either destructive or constructive, used to end the threat that caused it, or build, create something new in its stead. And that is where the matter of choice comes forward. I can either choose to scream as insanely as the idiot who is pissing me off, or I can walk away and conserve the energy for something more creative in the future. Why waste the energy, especially at my age, when it comes as a priceless commodity? Ahhhh, the things I have learned by keeping a journal.
Pain is a threat to the system. As such it produces anger, the energy flow to combat the threat in whatever manner we choose. In my last blog, I wrote about a deep wound that I had uncovered, and allowed myself to revisit on the page, and in private. I even stated that I was consciously aware that it was only a first step in the process I have been learning by writing regularly. I woke up yesterday morning with a depth of anger that might easily match that of Mt. Vesuvius on her best days. Acting on it, was out of the question. It meant that I might very well explode at everyone and everything that crossed my path. Although satisfying in the moment perhaps, releasing the steam, could do damage to me and to others as well.
I acknowledged the anger, but then went on with the day I had already planned that centered around several different creative outlets. I didn’t bury it, simply put it on a shelf where I could easily see and even use it for other purposes. And I did just that. I changed the look of this blog space to one of my original design. Not the one I ultimately want here, because that one will take more time and effort, but an inter-um image that tells me this is now my space. I chatted with a friend, and even took a nap. I read some things in a very good book, which has a great deal of information (synchronistically speaking) about the hard work that must take place after uncovering buried memories and the very real emotional storm they produce.
Before I went to bed, I had a telephone conversation with a friend. At the end of the conversation I told her I needed to go write a poem that was waiting for me to find it. She laughed and said two words that became the poem I wrote in the following half hour. It is one of the better pieces I have written in a long time. And it includes some of the images and feelings from that original unspeakable pain. It is actually a love poem, addressed to someone very important to me. For me, it was the best use of that anger energy I had encountered that morning. Not destructive, or explosive, but contained, controlled, and ultimately, far more satisfying than any other choice I could or would have made.
There was a time when I would have written down those angry feelings in graphic detail. That does work. However, I knew intuitively, also based in past experience, that that can backfire as well. Sometimes the writing is like poking at the anger, watching it to see what happens, releasing some of its fumes into the air I breathe. Other times it can be an incredibly soothing release and answer for pent up emotions that have no other place to live and would become destructive if left inside. That again, is a matter of choice to be engaged in by the individual in individual circumstances, learned through experience, and the growing of discernment. Sorry, it all takes time.
What do you do with your anger? Let it possess you, corrode you from the inside out? Do you confront it and how? By letting it drip from your lips, or explode like uncontrollable and flammable chemicals that are corrosive to your own and others’ environments? Do you struggle with it, like I have done, or throw up your hands in defeat and let it fly wherever, or bury it in the hopes that it might not hurt anyone, but especially you? These are just questions you might want to investigate on paper with pen. Until next time…