Are You Angry with Them or with You?

It’s pretty natural to react to something someone did to us. I think it’s part of our instinct to protect ourselves. Cats who are cornered come out with claws for protection but I think the flaw in that comparison is we will bring out our claws to protect ourselves emotionally.

When my stray cat named Filthy used to come around, I would spot him in a nasty showdown with the neighboring ferals and they’d be downright vicious. What I couldn’t get over is how quickly they seem to emotionally recover from it. He’d walk inside when I’d call him as though nothing would happen, rubbing up against my leg and purring. It wasn’t celebratory either, I never saw him win a fight. He just seemed to be able to flip the switch and go back to life. We on the other hand, have no clue how to do that. We carry the emotional burden from every fight we get in to not only the next fight but every other aspect of our life.

I guess I wouldn’t necessary trade being an emotional creature for having none, but I think why we bond with cats and dogs over other humans sometimes if because they are emotional, but seem to have a good grip on their emotions. They too can have behavior problems (dogs especially) if they carry their baggage, but their baggage seems more reasonable than ours in that it’s appropriately warranted.

I do think our sadness and anger is warranted and there for a reason, I just don’t think it’s very helpful. As humans, we have the ability to control our emotions in exchange for peace of mind. It’s one of the greatest human qualities; CHOICE. We can choose how we deal with things. It’s what separates us.

I think that can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, we get to choose which to me is the highest form of love we have been shown. We aren’t programmed robots. Our DNA and fingerprints are our own. I love that gift!
But sometimes I wish we could be more instinctual like our furry best friends. It would save more pain. Isn’t it bizarre that when we get in pain, we go for an emotion that will both lessen our pain and make it more severe? It’s the craziest thing ever! If I am sad, I will turn it into anger which dulls the sadness, or so it seems. Anger is our protection against other pain but we forget it is its own pain and the bitterness that stems from it is actually worse. Now I don’t know what is harder on our bodies; sadness or anger but I feel there is at least a quicker line drawn between sadness and happiness than anger and happiness. At least when we’ve said we are sad, we are admitting something more concrete. When we are angry, we have a step in between where we have to regain our body’s control back. How does the cat go from fight to content simply by walking through his kitty door?

The thing I notice (and really respect) about animals is that they don’t get mad at themselves. They get mad at another kitty. They don’t walk in and hate themselves for protecting their lot, they let it go immediately. It’s because they had a job to do, they did it and resumed their lavish lifestyle. ;)

We don’t do that and I believe it’s because the anger we feel towards ourselves is the thing we carry on. We hate that our character was compromised in a fight. We hate that we resorted to yelling, bad language and hateful slurs. We beat ourselves up for acting like a child with a tantrum instead of dealing with it like an adult. Those are the parts we can’t leave behind in the fight. We simply get mad at the furrow in our brow when we look in our mirror and consequently hate the person looking back. We hate ourselves for making poor choices about who we married. We tear into our own souls for taking cheap shots and spreading the gossip and hate.

I don’t know too many people who walk away from their anger and feel justified in it. Most people have to recover for days, weeks, months or years. Our hate seems to be with another person because ‘THEY made me this way. I hate them for making me this way.’

For me, I have come to realize that nobody caused me to lose control. I allowed myself to lose control. I use the word ‘allow’ because I let something in that was contrary to how I was raised, the kind of person I know I truly am and the person I am working towards discovering. Allowing myself to lose control in any situation is where I feel like the biggest screw-up. The term ‘losing one’s temper’ is said that way for a reason. Our temperament is a crucial part of our spirit which should be protected like our character. We should be guarding it.

Sure there are people who do us wrong, but we will waste our whole life trying to change them. it begs the question, ‘Why?’ Why do we want to change them? Is it for our own peace? My peace doesn’t come from another person. My peace comes from my own character. It’s up to me to storm-proof the house so that when these inevitable hurricanes come, my equilibrium is in check.

Back to staring at my own fingerprints…fascinating! ;)

Karen :)

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” ~Mark Twain

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