(Hold on Hope, 2011)
Anger is a lot like death. We don't talk about it, except in hushed tones.
When people are angry, we rush them out of sight as quickly as possible. People who express anger risk being labeled unstable, unreasonable, hysterical (primarily women), and whatever they say in this self-inflicted state of behaviour must automatically be negated, no matter how true. It's too bad so much of the truth makes me angry. It requires tremendous discipline to accept, accept, accept.
Or maybe, anger is the new sex. We don't talk about it, we just act out in private.
How private is private? What is acting out?
I am an angry person. I feel that I came into this world curious and ready to go, and time and again I was shoved aside, pushed down, discounted, ignored, dismissed, told to lower my sights and act like everyone else or be shunned. Perhaps, given my limitations, it was kindness, but I never enjoyed the process. So I have developed some sensitivity to being dismissed, which of course gets in my way. Even so, I believe that "nurture" is not where my anger came from, exactly. I think I was prone to it from the start, and it was fed by ongoing disappointment as I learned more about the world, history, and how far/not far we've come.
I am, frankly, disappointed with my species, humanity, which has completely missed the point in the grand scheme despite my stalwart optimism. Don't they say that a pessimist is a disappointed optimist? I've devoted much of my self-work to developing a positive attitude, and I train my thinking. But I have a long way to go in my heart.
I feel frustrated and angry with stupidity, injustice, unnecessary complexity, unnecessary simplicity...basically, anything that reminds me that humanity is still struggling with even the basic concept that all life has value, that all life deserves respect and dignity.
I resent anything that reminds me that we are led by selfish, greedy, short-sighted monkeys with such a stranglehold on the systems they created that the rest of us are working our asses off, reading articles about reducing stress and living on less sleep, so that 400 of them can decide what to do with most of the world's wealth. And defending it as though it's actually democracy, they claim changing this system would destroy democratic principles that, in fact, are made mockery by our current system. The ultimate pyramid scheme, my friends, is capitalism without a conscience. To what end? To what end?
There is anger in my genetics, if that is possible, and I have the burden of carrying a piece of that darkness inside of me. It is a gift, as well, and I would not live without it, but it's a heavy, heavy rock to weigh down an otherwise light heart. It makes me a tourist wherever I go, and tells me the secrets in the room. It lets me forgive people for what they are capable of even if they never do it; they feel that and let down their guard enough for me to pass them a moment of hope. It's something.
I believe we must love the dark to bring balance, and the only way to do that is to learn to love the anger in myself so that it can be free to do more positive things than drag me into depressive mires or violent outbursts. That I have largely contained unacceptable externalization to my workouts doesn't make me less angry, just disciplined. That I have been highly disciplined most of my life means only that my anger is more secret.
I have only begun to scratch the surface on this.
*Let me tell you, I am more ashamed to speak of my anger, more afraid of other people's rejection of me as an angry person, than anything else I might reveal. I would rather people see me naked and cold than see me truly angry. I am so uncomfortable that I may not publish this.
(And thus we feed ourselves to the machine.)