Anger

“A void in my chest was beginning to fill with anger. Quiet, defeated anger that guaranteed me the right to my hurt, that believed no one could possibly understand that hurt.”
― Rachel Sontag, House Rules

In the beginning, it fuelled my desire to be something.

What, I never did discover.

I burnt my way through life, the embers leaving nothing but hurt and grief.

As I aged, and realised that what I thought I aspired to wasn’t that heart-warming, I started to let go. What then fuelled my desire was an overwhelming need to provide that and a feeling of wanting to do the right thing.

For a period I found peace.

But it didn’t last.

Soon enough, my anger demons reappeared foisted upon me by my inability to follow through with the promise I’d made earlier to follow my call.

And they’re still haunting to me.

*

This introduction is too ethereal to make sense of the precise circumstances giving rise to my anger, less still the strategies I’ve deployed to combat my existential angst.

To be honest, I don’t think it’s likely to do either of us much good if I were to open my heart and share said details that have lead to me to acknowledge that I’ve still got a problem with anger.

Perhaps I should get help — or at least take a large dose of my own medicine but, then again, I’m more inclined to go inwards, question everything and to work things out for myself.

What really is the driver?

Trying to change that which cannot be changed.

Possibly; but if I accepted this moment as if I’d chosen it, I wouldn’t then be caught on the horns of a very pointed dilemma, namely living in the gap between the life I know is possible and the one I’m living.

Part of the problem is that to date I’ve never been able to communicate my message, or at least not in a way that others appreciate and/or understand. Even if they do, they’re not willing to let go of what they’ve got and follow me on a journey of self-discovery.

*

I’ve spoken before about going on a pilgrimage, but I never done it. I’m not angry that to date I’ve not summoned the courage to do all that that entails but there’s a nagging doubt that until I test out my message(s) apropos a kinder more humane world, I’ll never know if I’m writing and talking only to myself! (I’m sure I am.)

This isn’t a way (I don’t think) to cut the Gordian Knot on my anger, but it would enable me to understand if my existential angst has an audience, and more than that if we’re all ready to let go in support of a higher purpose than consumerism, the TV and smartphones.

*

My anger is not something I would wish on anyone. It’s caused untold hurt and, at times, it’s come close to breaking the bonds of love. I’ve made plenty of promises to rein it in, and I have for a while, but I always end up tripping over my historical failings, and I’m back where I started.

I’ve tried many a hack like staying present to the moment, only speaking when I’m spoken to and deep listening but all of this, sadly, is overridden the moment I mount my ‘it-shouldn’t-be-like-this’ horse. Perhaps I’ve an issue with control — don’t we all? — but then again, I’d like to think that age has mellowed me sufficient to accept my limitations.

One thing I’m not able to do, but I’m sure would stand me in good stead to break through my anger demons, is to have someone to talk to. An elder, specifically. I’d like to share the painful detail of my anger and, most especially, be heard. Yes, that’s it. I’d like to be heard. No fix. No solution. No new-age philosophy. But I don’t’ have anyone in that camp, sadly.

*

I don’t know what’s become of my life. Anger isn’t the only part of it but it’s consumed way too much of something that should have been filled with joy and love.

To be honest, the current climate catastrophe and extreme loss of biodiversity is not helping my mood, particularly when my family don’t appear to appreciate the severity of the situation. I know that sounds holier-than-thou but even though I don’t expect them to have the inclination to read what I’ve read or to try to understand some of the salient issues, neither do I expect to be shut down so easily or to be told that I’m not making for good company — no shit.

In the end, my anger is mine alone and I will, as best I know how, continue to work through all the travails of my extant situation. Hopefully, I’ll find a way to find solemnity and peace but then again, there’s another part of me that wonders if anger is part of me and me part of it. If that sounds defeatist then I make no apologies because, ultimately, certainly as regards the life we’re born to, it shouldn’t have to be a dubious compromise to constantly please everyone else.

Deep bows.

Julian

Photo by Michael Shannon on Unsplash

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