Did you notice the words “Uncle Sam’s colored soldiers are just CANNON FODDER…Give this to the first German sentry you meet. He will bring you to safety.” One of my greatest passions is to see the connections between societal growth and personal growth. Society after all is the sum of all our parts. For instance, ever wonder how a group can ignore a terrible crime? Then I think about my own life and unacceptable things that I was apathetic to. At work, injustices that I knew were wrong but said nothing. Times when I felt like the predator upholding a policy I knew was not right for the people. Sometimes I felt like the victim being exploited by those with negative intentions. We may all relate to being in one or more of these roles at some point in our life.
We don’t act because we want to be liked, want to keep our job, we may feel impotent or we may simply have a healthy view that we are powerless and we’ve accepted the situation. Some of us may even have nefarious intent. Whatever the reason, we have all had times where we felt demoralized. That no matter how hard we tried, we could not get past something. Maybe a spouse betrayed us, maybe financial stress consumed us, maybe our child fell ill or faced lifelong challenges. Our life took a turn we did not expect. We can’t imagine how we got here, where we go from here and why it’s all happening.
I think about historical events in time and how some triumphed and others perished. How can the same event create such different reactions? One has a bitter story while others wrote beautiful poetry and carried the story of hope. What distinguishes them? A CHOICE.
I thought if they can overcome that, then surely I can overcome this.
What if I’m living in the best time in our history, in the best country in the world and I’m so consumed with fear that I’m not able to fully appreciate the gift of life I’ve been given. Some may say that would be tragic. Is it possible that is what I do? Is it possible I stack up my problems convinced I’m a victim. Is my life really harder for me than others? Is it possible I do this while living in the best time in history, in the best country, with more than many will ever have? What will my story be? What will your story be?
Will we take those times when we felt demoralized and let that be our story?
We are victims. We give up. Life is too hard. Life dealt me an unfair hand. Or will we use this event to create a new story? That no matter what we will grow. We will take this pile of “SH%T” dumped on our lawn and spread it out for fertilizer. WE HAVE A CHOICE.
A choice diverts hope to one and despair to another.
Here is the path I personally took and the things I learned. It was hard work…. at first. Sometimes it’s very easy. Sometimes people present me with spiritual challenges and it’s hard work. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I relapse or experience amnesia. I do not fall back asleep. I want to be awake. I want to feel. I want to live. I want to be a torch for hope.
FEEL. Our society frowns upon emotions. We think we have to hide them. Especially anger; that’s just not ok in our modern world of paint a smile on it, take a pill and be positive. The thing is, there are times when anger is just anger and sad is just sad and the only way through those emotions is by owning them, feeling them and allowing them to wash over us.
Too many of us want to jump from anger to acceptance and it does not work.
The anger keeps coming back. It bites us in the ass when we least expect it. We have not owned it. We have judged it, hid it, forsaken it and now it haunts our actions and thoughts. We dream of vengeance. We live for the day of reckoning when they get what they deserve. It may never come. They may get away with it. Now what? Not only did they harm us but now we just gave up how much peace of our mind? They probably moved on. So we will make them pay? Where does this fit with “I want to be happy” or “I want to carry the torch of hope”? These are questions I ask myself in process. I feel the range of emotions and sometimes even dwell in them. I just notice them rather than judge them.
When I am angry now I think, isn’t that interesting?
After all this time I still have this reaction. Then I feel it. Then I look at it. Then I ask questions. Do I want to stay here? Does this serve a purpose? What if I chose to see this differently? What would the story be?
Instead of she wronged me, how about she acted from fear.
Is not my reaction to them also a reaction from fear? What am I afraid of? I am afraid that she will look right for what she did and they will misjudge me for my part? Look into that fear. Trace it’s origin. That is where freedom exists; the release from fear. Heal the fear and the torch of anger is snuffed out.
TALK. Too many times we keep things squashed down. We think we’ve got it covered all the while the festering anger is bubbling just under the surface. Inward anger becomes depression. Outer anger becomes hostility. Hostile people and depressed people have a lot in common. These are two sides to our unhealed fearful self. In depression we are the victim. In hostility we are the predator.
Here’s a tip:
YOU CAN NOT VENT YOUR ANGER AT THE PERSON YOU ARE ANGRY AT AND EXPECT A SOLUTION. YOU HAVE TO VENT THE ANGER TO AN OUTSIDE SOURCE.
LET GO. I tried and failed to get one person in my life to see my point of view. I pleaded, cried, begged, wrote letters to, prayed about and the list was endless. I could not change them. I was suffering. I was spent. I felt I had failed. I was still resentful as hell. Nothing seemed to be working. Then one day (after decades) I let go. I decided to change me. I let it be ok that I may be resentful at this person forever. I didn’t judge it. I didn’t make me wrong. I didn’t make them wrong. At the same time I decided their life was none of my business. I did not try to give them advice. I did not try to connect with them. I did not look for their approval. I just lived my life and let them live their life. I love this person today. I have peace with this person. I see this person in a totally different way. It is I who made the change.
What I did was try to manipulate them into my way of thinking and they did not budge.
I tried to work out my issues with them and I stayed stuck. I had to LET GO. I had to work out my issues with someone else and recognize they were MY ISSUES that kept me angry. That what they did was over. It was me that was stuck reliving it.
Be Humble. This is how I keep peace in my life. It is the opposite of EGO. The Ego says I AM RIGHT. You are wrong. It criticizes you. It judges you. It tears you down to build itself up. It analyzes everything to feel safe. The ego goes back to past events and relives them. My humble self is thankful for what I have. Humility dwells in the NOW. Humility is a choice. I choose it over and over and over. Sometimes other EGOS are a trigger for my EGO. In those cases, I breathe, and live in my declaration: I am a patient, playful, present and accepting woman. What would she do? How would she see this person? Declarations are so important I will keep referencing them and encouraging you back to that blog entry.
Stay Present. Come back. Come back is often a mantra for me. My mind has a list of hurts it likes to dwell in or think about. Every morning the “to do list” starts up on the mental screen, followed my anxiety. How do we shut this off? How do we stay present? There are many mornings I wake up happy with no “to do list” running in the background. It was not always like this. Some mornings I woke in total despair and demoralization. I could not believe my daughter may die. I could not believe she may have traumatic brain injury for life if she lives. I could not believe I was in the ER being told I needed surgery for the 5th time or face possible death. I could not believe the financial pain and loss in our life. I could not believe my life work and my husbands life work could all be unwound in just short 6 months. Today I woke up happy, joyous and free. Tomorrow I will write more on this topic.
Share your pain. Share your anger. Share you hope. Share your story. Tell us where you are. Where you want to be. Remember it’s always your choice. You are a remarkable and creative being capable of great things. Remember who you are today ~