“That guy on Facebook is being a total ass to me today.”
“What the fuck is her problem? Did you see how that woman just looked at me?”
“That is so fucked up! What’s wrong with this world?”
— Mark on a bad day.
“Bitch, bitch, bitch. That’s all you seem to be doing today” my friend Scott said to me; after listening to me spew negativity for a bulk of one morning together. His words got my attention. Why would I blame the world, when it’s me that is out of sorts?
Life after all, is neutral. It is our moods and attitudes that affect our view of things and the responses we receive. If we are seeing life through the dark glasses of downheartedness, then we can’t blame the world for seeing grim.
I know that when I’m at ease with myself and feel at home in my life, other people seem friendly and serene. A smile begets a smile; the simplest greeting elicits a friendly response. And when I’m considerate to a neighbor or friend; it sets good deeds in motion. Kindness is contagious. I really do believe that it is kindness and love that make the world a brighter, better place.
- Bitch Bitch Bitch (sporeflections.wordpress.com)
- My Resolution for 2011: Stop Blaming the Internet (themillions.com)
- The Bitch Slap: 6 Things That Are Bullshit (redheadwriting.com)
Expression is the Outer Life
I’ve realized that there’s a difference between my ability to feel, my ability to express my feelings, and my ability to let go. I know there are many painful emotions I learned to suppress when I was young, particularly anger or sadness. Other emotions might be difficult to feel because they are connected to past pain.
Yet there’s no letting go, no moving on, until I stop trying to avoid feelings such as sorrow, anger, rage or despair. I have found the way to begin working through difficult feelings is to reach out to people with a phone call, email, or blog comment. Other ways I have found to help are writing (blogging or journaling); having a good cry, or plan a healing ritual which can be as simple as taking a couple of days alone, just to think. For some of us, turning to our Higher Power, as we know it provides the spiritual help and nourishment we need.
The release that will come as a result of expressing our feelings will help to ease the pain. It’s not realistic to release all the pain from our past all at once, but we can begin by letting go of a little piece today.
“Don’t hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love.” — Source Unknown
Perhaps we were brought up in a family where anger was unthinkable and never mentioned; voices were never raised. Perhaps everything was bottled up because we were afraid of anger. But we were angry!
It’s hard to be angry appropriately. It needs to be learned, like so many things in our emotional life. If we haven’t learned to direct our anger in proper ways, we may find ourselves flying into sudden, inexplicable and unfocused rages that scare us and people around us. Or else we behave sullenly and irritably for no clear reason. Or, we get mad now for something that happened long ago, maybe even years ago.
As we try to better ourselves through personal growth, we learn how to direct our anger and get angry in a justifiable and right way. It’s good to get rid of our anger for the past, so that we can concentrate on living fully in the present.
Never forget what a man says to you when he is angry.” — Henry Ward Beecher
Do we speak the truth when we’re angry? I know that I am often quick to say, “I really didn’t mean it,” and I may even try to make amends for my thoughtlessness. But people, especially children, rarely forget what was said to them in anger.
Angry words hurt and mark people; especially when trussed up with dishonesty and distortions. Even if our parents didn’t really mean it, those angry voices and words are still with us. We often come to believe that our parents didn’t love us or respect us; otherwise, how could they have said those angry things that still hurt? We still may believe this way, or “make up in our minds” that the source of the verbal onslaught of ugly may hold some sliver of truth.
We will always have moments of anger. But we can think twice before letting anger, dishonesty, and distortions dictate our speech. Words can hurt and people remember.
I feel I have a problem with anger. I’m aware of certain acquaintances and friends who identify with anger issues, some of whom are working on anger management with a therapist. Many of us seem to have a problem with anger, often misdirection it and hurting the most innocent and loved people in our life. This anger we feel may have developed as a result of sexual abuse, neglect, or beatings we may have experienced as children which we turned against ourselves or others in a vicious, repetitive cycle.
When I became aware of my problem with anger, I began work with my therapist to create new tools to cope with my feelings appropriately. I needed to talk about all the incidents that still tormented me. I encouraged in my sessions to get angry at those that abused me or those I felt victimized by. I learned that I was likely to go on through life being a victim until I could fight my way through those early situations. It is often necessary to give one’s self permission to vent anger as an affirmation of self-worth, and not a contradiction of all the lessons learned about being tolerant, forgiving and peace-loving.
It is quite possible to, “hate the deed and not the do-er” by separating in one’s mind, the behavior, from the person. We have the right to hate what happened to us; we have the right to be angry at people for their aggressive, hurtful acts, while being ready to forgive them as people who need love just as much as we do. If anger is held back, it will fester and come out in mean and petty ways. Anger starved will rob us of our dignity and tranquility.
“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself” –Herman Hesse
Hatred, just like anger, has the potential to corrode and eats away at me, and I often end up being the loser. My life has been wrecked by the resentments and hostilities I have felt for others.
Why? Because hatred paralyzes me and prevents me from moving forward. I find myself becoming fixed in ugly feuds and rivalries and then I’m unable to go on with a happier life. I am in that dark place today and I am trying to take the necessary time I need to look within myself. As I become more clear-sighted about my hatreds I find that they are often directed at parts of me that I dislike, or even fear. For example, I may hate a certain noise because I was afraid of a similar noise when I was a child; I may detest others’ sexual preferences because I fear it may secretly be my own.
Today, I despise someone’s manipulation, dishonesty and defensiveness about their previously communicated commitments and the fabricated lies and distortions they have created, all in trying to discredit me and what I know to be the truth.
While looking at this hatred I feel toward this person and being honest with myself, I am beginning to get to the root of my anger and hatred. As I continue this process of looking within I know I will be able to deal with my feelings, and let them be carried away by the winds of time. To help me until I have accomplished this, I have created an affirmation which goes, “I realize that my anger and hatred is often directed at myself. Now I am ready to work to get free of the hatred that cripples me.”