I have a duty to speak the truth as I see it and share not just my triumphs, not just the things that felt good, but the pain, the intense, often unmitigated pain. It is important to share how I know survival is survival and not just a walk through the rain.—–Audre Lorde
Anger. Yesterday, that was my truth. When I tried to write, anger kept glaring back at me. I could see it peeking out from the middle of the “O’s”. It was hurling cannonballs . . . the dots on the “i’s”, periods, pieces of semi-colons. Soon, every lower case “l” became a spear. Oh, the horror, the horror.
I gave up trying to write. I walked away from this bloody battlefield to try again another day. There are times when all one can do is surrender. My anger was too strong, too raw. Words would have contained it. Anger was a wild beast that hated the cage.
I fled. Anger followed. I set a trap for it. It walked in and was snared. I had to take a close look at what I had trapped. It wasn’t pretty but as I starred at its ugliness, I became to feel empathy for this wild animal. I didn’t want this empathy. I wanted my anger to be wrong. I wanted to banish it or ship it away to a far off distant place. I didn’t want to feel a connection to it but I did.
This anger was mine and it had some good reasons for it’s existence. It was simply trying to protect itself. It doesn’t get out often and when it does, it’s lost in the real world. It prefers to lurk below the surface and disguise itself as sarcasm and cynicism. It really is a bit of a bugger but a bugger witsh a heart that is only trying to defend itself from what it perceives as danger or injustice. It’s been keeping score. Anger is very tired of losing.
Anger wrapped itself around me for several days. It squeezed with a vice-like grip. It would not be ignored. It demanded my attention. I resisted. I hate being angry. It wasn’t taking, “No” for an answer.
Exhausted by my own resistance, I sat down and had a chat with this anger. I looked it in the eye and saw what hurt lie deep within it. I softened. I wanted to hug it and make the hurt go away.
These feelings of empathy expanded and encircled the focus of my anger. I saw their hurts alongside my own. One was not greater or more important than the other. They just were. Broken and incomplete we had clashed in a struggle to hold on to ourselves. We fought to defend what was fragile and broken within each of us.
I’d started out hating my anger until I discovered what a teacher it was. I learn.