“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.