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Friday, January 21, 2011

Old Fools Journal: Anger and Its Consequences or Dangerously Pissed Off

It has been a long time since I have been angry in fact I cannot remember the last time. Then there was last night. I have trained myself to not have anger and last night reminded me why. I do not remember when but sometime when I was a young man I decided I had to get away from anger as it was pointless and did not make me feel good. Anger hurt me. I am into feeling good. Over the years since then I have felt a lot of disappointment and helplessness but seldom anger. Disappointment and helplessness is not good either and is another subject for another time however it is a better alternative than anger.

Anger is an unreasonable feeling and by that I mean it does not even have to have a reason. We always attach a reason but it is seldom real. Mad is a word that is often substituted for anger but mad is that level of anger where insanity takes over. Mad is often used to indicate a person is bonkers, crazy, insane, slipped a cog or deranged. A person can be mad without being angry and a person can be angry without being mad but if it gets to the "mad" point then watch out. Pointless violence can ensue when insanity reigns. We have witnessed that recently in the news from Arizona. Anger became mad and the resulting violence changed lives forever. We see it every day in drivers against bicycle riders and other drivers.

I have not been mad as a result of anger for at least 25 years and then only occasionally but I remember it well. It was not a pretty sight. I have witnessed it in others many times.

My solution was to discipline myself to redirect the pain of anger to the ache of disappointment. By doing that I sometimes can reshape what I find disappointing and make not only myself but some others feel good. When others feel good I feel good.

Last night I lost that discipline and I became angry. My anger was born out of disappointment and frustration. I let it get away from me. I did not get "mad" and punch walls or throw things. I got angry and it made me physically ill. Its aftermath is with me today like a hangover. Words were said and words can not be unsaid like a bell cannot be unrung. I will not get over it I will just have to live with it.

It will be said that this anger is over things (stuff) but it is not. It is over having little regard or respect for someone else and their things. The things themselves are of no importance. I either have to get use to that or remove the aggravation. I am working on both. Ooooom. Breathe deep.

I truly hope this is the last visit I have from this dark rider that comes out of the smoke and shadows.It is fading already. Red eyed from the consuming anger within. The dark red on the blades represents the dried blood of old wounds.


Gunnar Berg said...

Like I posted the other day:

"For a heart stained in anger grows weak and grows bitter.
You become your own prisoner as you watch yourself sit there
wrapped up in a trap of your very own
chain of sorrow."

Yeah, I have to deal with the black dog at the door too.

Von said...

Anger is a healhty reaction to the unjust or unreasonable, it's how you express it and what you do with it that counts.

Steve A said...

I get better at keeping perspective each year.

VQ said...

The blogger profile page that links us to all others who have the same interests and favorites listed, found you when I went fishing for a look at who also liked The Golden Compass.
Just for fun.
Up came pages of youngsters, and there you were. I had to see who the Oldfool was.
Ever since, I've been eating up your every crotchety lamenting tender soulful word and have spread the word about you to several other
Pacific Northwesterners, who also found entertainment and comfort from you. I even advertised your blog address in a comment I left on someone else's blog.
You are just so endearing. Anyway, that's what all the cheering is about from this neck of the (real cold) woods.
On being angry. Reading your words helps me a lot. Thanks Oldfool.

limom said...

I avoid getting angry.
It just doesn't suit me.

John Romeo Alpha said...

Too often in our species, anger flashes into a consuming and destructive fire that leaves only pain and ruins in its wake, and once started, seems as hard to control as a conflagration in a lake of gasoline. I've reflected on how bad it can get, and have come to the conclusion that hope lies in the direction of recognizing the early sparks of rage, and doing everything I can, as fast as I can, to dump whatever type of water I might have available (love, humor, wit, whimsy, reason, distraction, art, science, food, water, prunes, sex, play, curiosity, strength, honor, wisdom, aerobics, TV, Youtube, anything) to put out the fire before it hits the fuel. Because once those sparks hit the fuel and the fire catches, our fate is no longer in our own hands, but instead rests in the hands of primitive beasts who will stop only when the fight goes out of them because they run out of fuel, heat, or oxygen. I don't think there's anything healthy about it, and we would all be better off without it.

Jon said...

Anger is a shield against pain. Unfortunately, the pain is usually deflected away from the angered, only to land on someone else.

I fight that particular demon, on a regular basis. I hope to someday be able to avoid it altogether.

I wish the same for you.

Oldfool said...

I learned of "redirected anger" about 50 years ago when I was in my 20's. You know that is where you are browbeat and made angry by your boss then by the traffic cop on the way home. When you get home you yell at your wife who then yells at the kids who then kicks the dog who snarls and chases the cat who jumps on the table and knocks the gold fish bowl onto the floor freeing the goldfish.
This little bout with anger will be with me for the rest of my life I'm afraid. Hopefully it will remind me not to do it again.