holding onto anger

“Learn this from me. Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside.
We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us.
But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.”
Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven

There is deep within me a rage that occasionally slips to the surface when I am at my most vulnerable. Why would I not want to pull it out of my own accord, deal with it and set things to right? Why do I choose to ignore my anger?

Maybe I am afraid of it. I learned as a very young child that anger is a very scary and destructive thing. I shy away from people who are angry. I freeze when someone is angry right in front of me. I have to force myself to react. When I first started my job and strangers would scream bloody murder over the phone at me – the first time it happened – I just sat there and took it, speechless, breathless and then I went home and wept. Some days I would cry in the restroom because the people were so horrible, the calls, brutal. But now, 4 years later, 99% of the screaming meanies don’t affect me. But there is still that 1% that really digs in there and pushes THAT button and it is all I can do to contain the rage.

THAT button will probably always be there. But the rage doesn’t have to be. The only person the rage harms is me. Maybe that is the source of my migraines, anxiety, depression, arthritis, obesity, plus a whole host of other annoying issues.

I am afraid of the rage. I am afraid of what it does to me when it leaks (spews) out. I am afraid of what it does to me when it percolates inside me. I am afraid it will turn or already has turned to hatred. I am afraid of letting it go because if I don’t have my rage, then who am I?

I am a child of God. A God Who is Enough to hold my pain for me, to ease it from me, to heal me.
I need only let go of the rage.

Help me, o God, to let go of that which keeps me bound to the past with barbed wire chains. Help me to let go of that which I think gives me power and strength when in both physical and spiritual reality it brings me nothing but pain and madness. Help me, o God.

pod bw b

be gentle and patient

Be gentle and patient with those of us who, like Paul, have grown weary of our present bodies.
For the suffering of this life—whether physical, emotional, or mental—
forcefully pushes us heavenward like nothing else.
Joyce Landorf, Silent September

Sometimes I’m just plain sick and tired. Tired of being tired. Tired of depression. Tired of pain. Tired of working on my soul. Tired of being nice to people who are mean to me. Tired of everything and I long to go Home to be with the One who loves me and holds me and comforts me. Sometimes I want to hurry the process along.

I remember my grandmother saying in her last years or so (she was 95 when she went Home) she didn’t know why God was keeping her around for so long. She had outlived all of her siblings, husband, one child, two grandchildren and many, many friends. She was tired of her present life. She was weary.

Even though I, too, am weary at times, I also believe that I will not go Home one nanosecond sooner than God calls me – unless I do so at my own hand. He intervened once before on my behalf; I don’t know if He would do it again. No one can end my life without God’s permission. Not all the evilness in the world can dispatch my soul and spirit unless God allows it. I am a child of God, a part of this world yet separate from it.

This doesn’t give me license to live recklessly, but it does bring comfort that though bad things have happened to me and may be a part of my future I will not perish from them accidently. Unbeknownst to me, my life has a purpose on this green earth and when my purpose is fulfilled I will go Home.

I live and die by that belief. So when I am weary of this present body, this present life, I need to cling even harder to the hem of His garment that I might gain strength and love by His Presence.

abandonned c

an option for despair

Each soul was created by God,
and each has his or her own long history of searching for God.
-H.H. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj

Too often in my own journey I become completely self-absorbed and forget that I am not the first to cry out to God and say “Why me?” or “Help me, O God, in my misery!” I forget that so many people have gone before me and while we each walk a separate path, we are all going in the same direction, with the same purpose and toward the same end.

That should offer comfort for me – to know I’m not the only one on this road. And in a sense it does. Yesterday I was reading through the various other blogs I follow and clicked on a link to another and then another and came across a blog post by a former cutter. She showed photos of her scars where she had methodically carved lines and words into her skin. Her scars were still fresh – by fresh I mean at least a year or so old – and I will admit it scared me. Before I read any further I exited her blog immediately.

The reason it scared me was it hit too close to home. Even though I have not cut myself in over 10 years, the idea of it has not gone away. The feeling, or rather the endorphin rush I received from it is not a distant memory. It is one of those things I have to guard against when I am circling the Abyss on dark days, something that would not take too much nudging from my hurt-self to do again.

But now, a day or so later, thinking about that young woman’s blog, I admire how brave she was to share her scars. How brave she is to say this is who I am, take it or leave it, but I am me and I have scars. I went down that path before she did and yet somehow, I think she is further along it than I.

Now I know better than to compare my journey with another person’s because I am as a unique individual as she is or as anyone else is. I don’t think that is what I am doing. I think that when I say this young woman is further along than I, I mean healing and acceptance-wise. She was willing to share her scars. I am not. Mine have mostly faded and in order to see them I must look closely and in the right light – but they are there, methodically carved lines in my skin.

I am ashamed of them. I am ashamed of that time in my life that I would do such a thing to my body. I am ashamed I have not let it go as an option for despair.

I don’t know what else to say except for but for the Grace of God I would have scars that were fresh and not ten years old. And through His Grace I will learn not to be ashamed of them or who I am.

 

dawn 1