Saturday, October 08, 2005

Anger, Fear, Aggression

No, I'm not going to quote Yoda, no matter how much I love those movies. More importantly, I think Yoda misses the boat on this. None of these are bad things in and of themselves. It's realizing when to use them and how not to let them go to far that's important.

As I've said before this is about rediscovering who I am. I am not an intellectual, merely someone who affected that air in trying to hide all that I really was. I wish I could get back the more caring, less sarcastic person but so many layers are in the way. They had to be there for defensive reasons. This was one of the less shocking discoveries about myself. No, I just maintain a psuedo-intellectual pose because that's what I've done for so long. (I'll also refrain from responding to comments directly.)

So, for me, the process of personal growth would involve peeling back those layers, keeping what is useful and trying to strip away isn't useful.

I spent most of my early life angry. There was nothing that could be done about it. As the anger had no valid outlet, it turned inward and became depression. I responded at practically every thing with blind rage for years. Eventually, it got the best of me.

How did I get rid of it? I went through counseling and prayed for it to be removed. (Are you surprised by this?) I've found my somewhat biting sense of humor is part of myself and will remain. I've also found what the anger really was, fear. Sure, fear is ten times better than anger that leads to all forms of aggression, but it's got problems all its own. You see the thing is, I couldn't let go of it on my own. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing, but I'm not all that good at mastering the art.

Despite how many times we are warned not to hold our emotions in, it seems so easy to do. As a young child, I was surrounded by people who hated me and I really wanted to lash out at them. It just wasn't a viable option. As an adult, I use biting humor as a method of releasing tension. This causes problems, of course, but not nearly as many if you realize that it's just part of my personality and harm isn't necessarily meant by it.

And despite my best efforts, I've found myself angry at my birth religion for the time it wasted in my life and its attempts to repress me. It seems the one thing I've forgot is we always decide how we'll react to situations. So perhaps, my anger should be directed at my younger self, and I'll forgive him. He had to make some tough adult choices he wasn't ready for. I hope that you can see this in your own life, too. It's human nature to want a scapegoat. Anger, fear, agression unlike what Yoda seems to think only lead to the dark side. Like anything else, it's how you apply them.


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