I love being a life long learner. And the lessons are so all over the place. Here's a subject that I am finally getting around to really studying. I don't want to take the final exam but I am curious to see how I would do with it.
The subject is anger. I grew up pulling anger out of my pocket every couple of weeks when the nuns would drag us over to the church on Friday afternoons for confession. It was my "go to" sin. I could always count on having at least three or four episodes of anger that I could point to and claim as my sins for the week. Anger was a bad thing. NOT okay to be angry. And I was always angry. Angry at my mom for making me do chores. Angry at Mark the Park for calling me Dog. Angry at my sister for messing with my stuff. Angry at the other kids at school because they had nice stuff and I didn't. Angry at the stupid priest (horrors!) for embarrassing me because the car pool made me late for the required attendance at morning Mass. Angry at having to go to Mass. Angry at having to go to school. Angry angry angry.
And here is the unbelievable part. I never lost that piece that says anger is bad. I spent much of my life yelling at myself for being angry. Bad person. Get rid of that anger and do it right now. You have no right to be angry. Get rid of it, I said! NOW! Guess what? I am only now learning that anger is really NOT a bad thing. Anger is a feeling and it just is. Sure, you might do something when angry that could be harmful or mean but anger, in and of itself, is not bad. What a revelation. Amazing.
So what I am learning now is that it's okay to make a place for anger in my world. I can feel angry and notice where I feel it. I can observe anger and maybe paint or write about it (or not). Then I can decide what, if anything, I want to do about it. But the big lesson here is that anger is not the bad guy. And I am not the bad person for feeling anger. This is all new to me, folks. I am not sure how this new knowledge is going to play out in my days but I am curious to find out.
How about you? Are you comfortable making a place for anger in your world?