Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I’m Really Angry - What Do I Do?

There is cursing. There is cussing. For the purpose of this post it is important for you to know the difference. Now first let's remove the religious definition of cursing. I'm talking generic U.S. English so called "bad words." we aspire not to say in public but they have been seeping out. Yes, all seven of them.  I’m not talking about cursing, this is the superlative form, cussing.

Cussing is the weapon you really want to use to make the other person pay attention and feel hurt. The pain part is important. Cussing is a skill. You do not want to be near anyone who has that specific skill because that person is really angry and potentially heading into blind rage. We are talking 16 and 32 word combinations, comparisons to the size of your genitals and questions of how you have the limited sense enough to draw breath.

Yesterday, I was cussing.

I was angry about things both internal and external. Mainly external. I was once again disappointed by the base level stupidity of human beings. I sat in my home and let the invectives flow at full force. I was so mad I was cussing Joost out because I wanted to see Have Gun Will Travel and they wouldn't let me because I didn't want to turn off my Ad Blocker software.

I got one word for you Joost. Hulu!

Then finally, the anger was gone. I felt deflated and sad. I went to bed hugging my pillow saying to myself, “It is ok. next time I’ll do better.”

There Has To Be A Better Way...

Expressing anger is ok. I know that. Expressing it when no one is around is desirable. However I wasted a lot of time that could have been put to better use. Walking and doing physical activities can help. Yet I needed something for my mind and soul. I needed something to re-affirm that we all ain't heading for the cosmic crapper. 

Truth is, I need to know that the man on the bus wearing the Apocalypse sign with pride isn’t a prophet of things to come. That foolish men and women do not have total dominion over those of us who, despite our differences, want to do better than continually carp and cuss.  There are people who actively search for better ways of communicating, behaving and controlling the need to beat the sh….

Let me point out that I am no where near as enlightened as I had hope to be at this point in my life.

Sometimes you need a teacher, coach or guide to show you options and alternative behaviors you can emulate. Buddhist Nun Pema Chodron wrote in her book When Things Fall Apart, Heart Advice for Difficult Times:

“Well it starts with being willing to feel what we are going through. It starts with being willing to have a compassionate relationship with the parts of ourselves that we feel are not worthy of existing on the planet.”

Here is more from Pema Chodron on This Lousy World:

Using Pema Chodron as a focal point, let’s see how other bloggers interpret her teachings and concepts.

I need no convincing that staying in the moment, in the anger as you bring yourself to a centered place, is hard work. Pamela from the Fertility Advocate blog writes about staying in the pain, understanding that is something to want to run from but as she puts it:

What Pema is teaching, is that when things feel like they are falling apart - like a failed pregnancy attempt - instead of running from the pain - try to stay with it. Truly feel it.  Trying to look at the “bright side” may not be helpful.  If we can manage to stay with the pain - really touch the rawness of our feelings - great insights and learning can come from it.

I don’t think Stardust In Prison would mind me hanging out at Dhama Punx. The people in that community seem to be incorporating Buddhist principles into their American life. There are many good posts here but I needed the one on Stress. It is not that there is an “answer” but that people are taking the time to ask questions and try to work it out.

Ann at Divorce Unemployed and Living With Her Parents is not having a good time. She starts off her post about what she thinks Buddhism is:

The philosophy of Buddhism is premised on the idea that acceptance - or more accurately - embracing of - reality - what exists- rather than struggling with what is not reality - what doesn't exist - allows people to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.

Ann goes into more details about loss, adjustments and her psychotic cat. DiamondLight at Love Burning Deep talks about being open, making time for her practice it seems releasing the pressure before you blow. Jennifer at I Wish I Had More Time to Read share a breathing technique she uses to help her cope.

I began the technique of breathing in the very thing I was afraid of—impoverishment—and, via exhaling, releasing the notion that, “I have exactly what I need for now.”

Dakota at Body Evolution is using Pema’s teachings to redefine her inner and outer self-image. In this passage she writes about how instead of running from the pain, she moved toward it:

Last year, for the first time, I broke a pattern I had fallen back on for so many years. I didn’t run away from my pain. I faced it head on, like Pema Chodron says in her book. I thought that if I face it head on the pain would heal quicker. The pain didn’t heal quicker, but I learned one very important thing about life. If you face your pain and fear head-on it loses its power over you.

It Is Getting Better

I am reminded to take deep breaths to cleans and clear myself. This I can do. I am reminded that I am not perfect and that there is no expectation or birth requirement for me to be perfect. I think that Pema is saying that once you get the relationship with yourself in place you will be able to connect better with others. And if there are as equally heart centered then there may be a way to build a lasting path or bridge of communication.

That one is gonna take me sitting in Dharma Special Ed class because some of those “others” are not nice people. They need a cast iron skillet upside the head.  I know. Back to the lecture. ;-)

We can’t live in this world totally alone. There are days when you need a guide who has been down the path before you. I hope I haven’t misinterpreted Ms. Chodron’s concepts but, as you can see, we all have a need to connect, deal with our demons and come to a place of peace. If you have tips for those of us that flare up quick, drop them in the comments.

Additional Reading

  • Shambhala Sun conversation with Pema and bell hooks the conversation talks about racism, sexism and dealing with aggression.
  • In O Magazine interview - Pema and Oprah talk about spirituality and how Pema became a Buddhist Nun.

Gena Haskett is a Contributing Editor at BlogHer where this post originally appeared.

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