I woke this morning realizing I needed to deal with my anger at the woman who hit our car. Why am I still so angry?
I went to a book my friend Karen loaned me, called Introduction to the Internal Family Systems Model. It is by Richard Schwartz.
I read different quotes and absorbed and worked with my "parts," with the part that was still angry, and in speaking with my anger "part", the anger dissipated. I find it fascinating what we hold and how if we honor the holding by welcoming it, then, there is a place for it to go. I feel completely different about it all, neutral.
I've been beating myself up about the accident and my anger at this woman, saying to myself why can't you let it go; why are you so unforgiving; what is wrong with you? When instead, I looked at her side, that she must be feeling terrible about what she did, then, I could reach my own fear and vulnerability about being hit, about how fragile life is here, and, as I say, it all feels neutral now and even rather silly to have been so upset so long, or even at all. But anger sits on fear, and so if we are angry, we cannot, or think we cannot, feel the the fear. It is still there. Today, I felt the fear, and now, in this moment, it is gone. I have more space to breathe and love.
Thich Nhat Hanh says that, "If we become angry at our anger, we will have two angers at the same time."
I was building anger on anger. Now, I feel peace.
This book speaks of changing the way we interact with our thoughts and emotions and of the changes that ensue from doing that.
"What was the direction of that change? They moved from hating, fearing, arguing with; trying to ignore, lock up, or get rid of; or giving in to and being overwhelmed by those feelings and beliefs to becoming curious about them and listening to them. That initial curiosity often led to compassion for their emotions and thoughts and attempts to help them."
He quotes from one of my favorite books, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day ... "Does it happen all at once, or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are REAL, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are REAL, you can't be ugly except to people who don't understand."
May this descent into winter, this drop into the soil of darkness, allow us each to feel a little more real, both to ourselves and to others. May blessings round! Happy Days and Nights of Thanksgiving and learning and growth.