People often suggest that I get- and stay- pissed. It’s a common prescription for any separation: if you find yourself displeased, disparage until you feel dignified.
But… y’all know I don’t buy into that. I don’t want subsist on venom. (Wouldn’t that make me poisonous?) My goal here is to get better, not bitter.
Of course, I do experience moments of infuriation (like that day I was crying in the bathroom at work and I had an overwhelming urge to punch the wall). And I’ll admit that I’ve indulged in some creative (and not-so-creative) name calling. Overall, though, I’m not mad. More frequently I feel:
- Sad (yep…this is a biggie. worthy of being listed twice!)
Anger flirts with me. When it shows up, it dazzles me with its promises of power and righteousness. It whispers in my ear, “You’re correct. You’re justified… Now c’mon, let’s have some fun together!” Sometimes I want to pull it close and hold on. Yet, I know better. I know that anger only covers up those unpleasant emotions that I don’t want to deal with. You know the ones I’m talking about? The ones that evoke weakness and vulnerability- several of them are listed above. I’m also aware that the list above contains happier feelings and, if I’m patient, eventually one of them will come along. It’s not necessary to soothe myself with negativity. I’ve said it before: hating isn’t healing.
In order not to attach to anger, I’ve been employing a new trick: replace animosity with curiosity. This is rather easy for me to do because I have an obnoxiously incessant need to ask “Why?” all the time. So…when I feel angry, I attempt to decode the situation. I ask “why?” … if nobody can give me an answer, I form various hypotheses (as realistic as possible, considering all aspects of the situation and the human nature of those involved). This allows me to view the issue from a perspective of humanity and compassion rather than contempt. Understanding makes the reality easier to accept, regardless of whether or not I like the conclusions I come to.
Has anyone else tried this? Or another method of avoiding the Anger Trap? Or, are you one of those who believes that “anger is a gift”? Let me know…