This is our truth, tell us yours
I have read two things this week that made me stop to thing about my own relationship with anger. Carters post this morning brilliantly mixed the personal and the political as he explored what he, and us, could learn from Thatcher’s legacy. When he writes about his own personal battles with his anger there is always a recognition. I know were I bigger and stronger and not brought up in a world that tells women we must never show anger, I may have had to face similar choices, and doubt I would have chosen as wisely.
I also read this beautiful post by Laurelai and it set me thinking, I am going to quote the first paragraph, but I really do recommend you read the whole of it.
Anger is a powerful and useful emotion to spread a message for sure but what most people do not realize is that anger alone can blind you and become toxic, anger must be tempered with discipline, love, and compassion. Remember the people you are talking to are human beings as well. They bleed, they feel pain, they have their own pain and burdens also, while not the same as yours and mine and perhaps not to the level we experience as oppressed people.
I have struggled with anger all my life, to some extent I still do. The idea of anger being toxic, filling you, rotting from the inside is one I feel with such clarity. At times anger has filled me, but as a woman, as someone who thought themselves unworthy, as someone who thought she deserved whatever crap happened to her, the anger was pushed as far down as it would go, and left to burn its corrosive path of hatred.
Becasue that anger doesn’t go away of course, it doesn’t stay locked up, it affects us, and when we try to keep it hidden it has the habit of escaping when we least expect, when we are feeling vulnerable, or when drink or drugs provide the escape route. These are the situations when, as laurelai points out the vital discipline, love and compassion can be forgotten, for ourselves as well as others.
Or as Gandhi said;
Where does that leave me though, and others like me, who know ignoring the anger is not a good or healthy solution, but also knowing enough to not wish to vomit our rage over others without remembering they too are human beings? I do not have a solution, but I have a few clues, that might help those who like me are trying to make a truce with their fury.
I have not reached a point of being able to let go of my anger, and as both Carter and Laurelai say, righteous anger can be vital, we need to get angry when the world shows us oppression and injustice. However I have reached a truce with my fury, and am coming to understand and no longer fear it.