Finding Meaning in Our Anger

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been finding myself getting angry lately. Not over the top, red faced anger, but a subtle, underlying frustration where I curse the driver in front of me for turning too slowly, kind of anger. An impatient type of anger where I feel like things are just beyond my control. I have noticed a lot of other people feeling it too, especially at work. Parents yelling at their kids, rolling their eyes at their spouses (or me) and being nasty to my crew. There seems to be so many triggers for people right now. Covid-19, politics (go figure!), George Floyd, the anti-racism movement and unemployment. Most anger is fear based and it helps to understand that so we can be more tolerant towards other people who are acting out of frustration, are being rude or even hostile. I know I am more fearful with this pandemic and I am sure many people feel the same way I do. We are all uncertain of our future.

The thing I’m trying to figure out though, is what is this anger trying to tell us? What lessons are we supposed to learn? What is the bigger picture? It doesn’t matter what your belief system is, there is meaning for ALL of us here. I have so many questions yet so few answers. My best guess is that this is a wake up call that things are way off balance and need to be centered. Maybe we have been so far removed, disconnected from each other that we need to take notice and find common ground. We need to build bridges. Look, when you get right down to our very core, don’t we all want the same things? Security, family, love, a sense of purpose and community? These are the foundational blocks of all humanity. Where did we go wrong and how do we get back to our core values as people? When did we start becoming so angry and fearful?

I live close to the woods and walk there often. There is a large, glassy river that runs along the trail, which is lined with trees and dense vegetation. A Great Blue Heron hangs out on a log by the river most days I’m there. I smile every time I see him. The woods feel like home to me and wash away the stresses of my day. They are healing. A habit of mine when I walk by trees is to reach my hand out and feel their bark. I run my fingers along their trunk and feel their energy, their texture. Each tree feels different. There are tall skinny trees, smooth crooked trees, rough leathery trees and big round Grandmother trees with branches that hug the sky. They are all an important part of the woods. They all have a role to play. They work together to survive. Have you ever noticed that the short bushy trees are the first to get their leaves in Spring? The tall trees bloom later so as to not block the Sun! It is a part of Natures grand design. Maybe we should think of ourselves more like trees. We are all different but part of the same forest. We are interconnected which means we support each other. If we try to stand alone we become sick and suffer.

Why don’t we use our anger and turn it into a desire to work towards the betterment of all humans? Let’s be a little uncomfortable, even if it means accepting people for who they are, our fellow brothers and sisters, instead of focusing on their beliefs that may not be the same as ours. Let’s lose our sense of entitlement and replace it with tolerance. Let’s get back to being helpful to one another! There’s no need to stand alone. Isn’t that what life should be about?

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