April 22, 2012
“The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace;
the second is that it distorts your view of reality.
If you think about this and come to understand
that anger is really unhelpful, that it is only destructive,
you can begin to distance yourself from anger.”
But anger is arguably the most honest of all the emotions. At least it is the boldest. You can’t live an authentic life without having it in your emotional repertoire. If you try to live the reality of a life surrounded by cancer, whether as the one diagnosed or as those who love them, and try to AVOID anger—you will live a life complicated by a shortened prognosis, heart disease, crohn’s disease, or a cancer diagnosis of your own. Cancer ignites ANGER into life like a match ignites dry kindling. There is no escaping it. You wake up and it has been there waiting for you. You go to bed exhausted from having to stuff it all day and then dream dark dreams all night. Yet in a world full of cancer you deserve to spend a certain amount of time being angry. Yes. That emotion is handed to you with the diagnosis, it comes attached. Sometimes anger can feel b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l in its purity. It is the single most obvious response to an interrupted life, being taken down a road no one would want to travel. But spend too much time feeling angry—pure or not, deserved or not—and you find it has mutated into bitterness—thick and morose—producing a slow drag against anything you try to do, sucking fresh air out of every breath you take. Stay angry for any length of time and it sucks life right out of you. Try to do a cancer journey without anger as a constant companion and you buy a ticket to a denial zone that can make you insane in no time. The fresh air comes only while feeling the anger without letting it destroy you. Living life within the reality of anger’s necessity. It creates a depth of meaning, a maturity, a nimbleness of spirit where authentic life is born every day. Learning to live life in a world of the absurd. A “new normal” to be sure.