Now of course, we get to the hard part.
It’s all very easy to talk about ignoring the voices that assail us for twenty-four hours a day on a daily basis – but how do we do that? Lots of movies/books/advice columns exhort us to talk to our parents and/or friends about the way we feel. Mostly, these exhortations are based in fantasy. Quite often we do not have any real friends. More often, our parents are the ones responsible for creating the worthless being we believe ourselves to be, in the first place. Regardless of whether they do/did it deliberately or unwittingly – the point is that it really would be stupid to go to them for advice and support. I mean really, it would be like calling the mugger back and telling him that he overlooked the $50 stuffed in your sock, wouldn’t it? Or offering him your address and house keys.
No…family support isn’t an alternative for many of us.
Fortunately though, we don’t have to rely on them either.
If you’re reading this then you have already discovered one form of help and that’s all it takes. One avenue leads to another and then another and so on. More importantly however, you have your one voice and its angry denials. Encourage it to stay. As impotent as it may seem in its split second appearances, its indignation on your behalf is nevertheless your saviour.
Unfortunately, anger is a much-maligned emotion.
Both individually and socially it is condemned and ostracised – but where would this world be without anger? Back in the Dark Age, that’s where! Because it was anger that banned children from working in the mines. It was anger that toppled the tyrannical monarchies and usurped the despots, replacing them with comparative freedom. It was anger that tamed our barbarism and created law and order. Anger at the unfair, the unjust, the needless atrocities, the plight of the weak and helpless has shaped our world. It was anger that acted on behalf of caring and love and compassion and indignation.
It is still anger that impels change and growth on all levels.
Do not be deceived by those who condemn it in the name of love and compassion. For it is anger that is the ultimate protector. It sets the boundaries between your acts of decency and helpfulness and your being used as someone’s doormat. It will guide you through the hazards of personal relationships.
It will tell you when something is fair and when it isn’t. It will repel those who wish to harm you.
It will lead you to the safe place where love and self-respect await – if you let it.
Like any loaded weapon however, anger needs to be treated with caution. (If you’re staring down the barrel you’re at the wrong end!) It needs to be directed…focussed…controlled. Otherwise its power will be wasted on undeserving targets. (And by ‘undeserving’ I don’t mean innocent I simply mean that some people – particularly many of the guilty ones - are unworthy of your energy.)
Think of your anger like a garden hose.
By controlling the nozzle you can achieve a powerful, cleansing stream or a weak, fountain-like spray. If you let go of the hose altogether it waves around spraying water every which way. You will probably get saturated in your efforts to catch it – but your garden will remain parched.
So, take hold of your anger.
(Aim it away from yourself, remember!)
Begin with simple tasks. Ask your anger how it would like to deal with a particular situation. After dismissing its suggestions of rocket launchers, stealth missiles and general mayhem (oh okay, so that’s what my anger always says) combine its demands with your commonsense and goals. What do you want to achieve? Ask around – how would others deal with it? (There will be no shortage of advice!) Whichever of those methods you choose however, walk hand in hand with your controlled anger because that emotion will not quail and desert you – whereas others often will.
It is all well and good for others to exhort us to ‘love thine enemy’ – but since you believe yourself to be ‘Public Enemy No. 1’ and haven’t thrown any love in that direction, better to start elsewhere, methinks! Then you can love your real enemies to your heart’s content. In the meantime, there’s not a loved one in the universe that will not at some time or another, deserve your anger. Real love can tolerate both the receiving and bestowing of justified anger, so don’t be frightened of rejection, or of hurting your target. In anger you scream: "you hurt my feelings when you said…" and they scream right on back "but that’s not what I meant!" Then you’ll probably gulp and say: "oh."
(Hah! Told ya to be careful!)
But see how your anger has opened the potential for two-way communication?
Otherwise, you would have just stewed on what you thought they meant, wouldn’t you?
Oh come on…course you would have! Your little voices would have been yelling: "see, even XXX thinks yer a dickhead…dickhead!" (I know, I know…but the other things they say are unprintable.)
Using the potential that your anger has created, is your responsibility.
If you choose to walk away in false pride/humiliation – then you are not in control.
Work on it.
Knowing the source and validity of your own anger will also allow you to accept or reject the validity of other peoples angst toward you. As you know all too well – but probably rarely admit – sometimes you heap on one what is really meant for another. You will probably do that for a long time, on and off. And you will always be the recipient of such misplaced anger from others – as are we all.
Everyone does it at some time or another, no matter how depressed, or sane, or educated, or aware they are…it is simply a facet of humanity. It is the nature of our quest upon this planet.
Live and learn…
You may notice that the amount of love and respect you have for the person/situation will define the force of the fury that you unleash – but then, so will fear. If fear controls the nozzle, your anger will be sprayed indiscriminately…and the more you fear the more indiscriminate and wasteful your actions.
Which is not to say that fear isn’t a valid feeling – in its place.
Its place however, should not be at the controls.
The bottom line is – that’s your job!
So, here is an exercise that is variously labelled by people as: ‘spiritual/psychic/mental/crap’…call it what you will. It re-balances negative energy. The benefits are said to be noticeable within two hours (I reckon it’s an hour but hey! Who the hell listens to me?) It can be repeated at two-hourly intervals if need be, though. Be warned however: it is not a cure! Nor does it initiate any permanent and/or long-lasting change. It does not pay your bills or make your lover come back to you. What it does do is still the voices so that you have a breathing space. A time alone to sort out your goals. A time to think clearly on what actions you need to take in order to resolve your problems.
And even if you don’t use the time productively, you’ll at least feel better.
Firstly, find somewhere quiet where you will not be interrupted for about ten minutes.
Sit in a straight-backed chair…no slumping in the deep lounge!
Take 3 deep breaths to relax yourself.
Separate your feet but keep them placed squarely on the floor.
Sit erect and allow your hands to lie loosely in your lap without touching each other.
Bring the index and middle fingers and thumbs of each hand across to meet each other and form a pyramid/triangle.
Take a long deep breath and hold it for the count of seven seconds.
When ready, inhale again…hold it for the count of seven seconds
Repeat this procedure seven times (ie. so that you inhale and exhale seven times)
When you’ve finished…then that’s it, you’ve finished.
Forget about it and go on with your routine.
If you practise it enough, you will find yourself able to concentrate on it even if you are on a bus or in a car – preferably as the passenger rather than the driver! I repeat however, it is simply a buoy in the storm…it will not float you to shore without much more effort on your part.
Sorry, but that’s life eh?