Present through the darkness
I am feeling a deep sense of heavy-heartedness on The Path today. So much so that it feels achievement enough to just turn up, walk, and get myself back home. There is no plan to blog. It doesn't feel good putting my darkness out there.
Once home, I'm curious. Why on Earth am I feeling so flat? There aren't any obvious reasons. With a little quiet reflection I realise it is the result of a weekend of unexpressed anger. Ah, again, I was afraid of putting my 'darkness' out there. Instead, choosing to keep it in.
The theme of heartache seems to be a reoccurring one at the moment. Noticing some inner turmoil on Saturday's walk I checked in with myself, as usual, to get a sense of what was really going on within when an image of a large rod going straight through my chest came to mind. I felt as if there were people at either end lifting it up and carrying me. I realised, as bizarre as it was, the image perfectly described the sensation I had in my chest. A feeling of being a slave to my heart.
Moments later, without realising, I found myself veering off the usual path. Literally carried off by the intense anger I was experiencing in the moment. About to change course, I had a sudden sense of No, damn it! This is where the anger is leading me. In truth, I didn't know where I was going. It looked like the path of anger was leading me straight into the bushes, a dead end. As it turned out, it led me right back on to the path. What a surprise! And how much better it felt to acknowledge the anger rather than trying to stay on track and correct myself, if only for those few moments.
Many of us grew up believing anger was bad and that being angry makes us a bad person. It's not true. Anger is simply there to let us know something is wrong. It's part of our internal guidance system. It's a messenger. Not that it's about lashing out when angry but it can be equally dangerous, to ourselves and those around us, to keep quiet and suppress it. Suppressed anger eventually turns into cold rage. A deep-seated resentment that is often masked with a polite smile. It doesn't serve anyone, and certainly not our selves or our bodies. Cold rage will always find a way to express itself, but unlike the more visible expression of its counterpart hot rage, the devastating effects of cold rage can be much less obvious. Rage, whether hot or cold, takes its toll on our body, mind and spirit, depleting our strength at every level and cutting us of from ourselves and others. By noticing when anger arises and acknowledging its message it's possible to use it to our advantage. Perhaps someone has overstepped a boundary, or perhaps we need to lovingly put a boundary down in the first place! Perhaps we are actually in danger (physical or otherwise) and simply need to get ourselves out of the way. Finding a way to be present to our feelings of anger allow us to use it in the way it was intended, to keep us on purpose. Open-hearted and compassionately honest.
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Trained in a depth, buddhist-based psychotherapy, using everyday outer world experiences to develop inner wisdom, one day at a time.