Anger’s necessity

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.” 
Dalai Lama
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.

6 Responses to “Anger’s necessity”

  1. Wow, good job at capturing such a great photo.

    • Kay said

      It was a once in a lifetime shot. I probably could have killed myself out on that dock when the storm was broiling. I took several lightening shots but I actually don’t remember getting this spectacular shot until I later looked into my camera. I must have been “shocked” into snapping it and was unaware of what happened as I ran back to the house. This shot holds tremendous value to me on so many levels. Since I’m still alive (and not electrocuted), it was all worth it, right? Thanks for hanging around my blog.

  2. This is so real. Anger…who wants to talk about anger! “We’re not supposed to be ‘angry'” – we’re supposed to be… well… unreal! Immune. Without emotion. Like stones. And that’s all nonsense. Light weight fluff that’s floating around drives grieving people and people who have suffered abuse or injustice deeper into rage repressed. Eventually, it erupts, just as you say. Your juxtapostion to the Dalai Lama is a brave move…because you yourself love the Dalai Lama and because the Dalai Lama is beyond criticism in many quarters. if he says it, it must be true? Not this time. “It creates a depth of meaning, a maturity, a nimbleness of spirit where authentic life is born every day” are words that come from a courage mother, a tiger who did everything she could to protect her cub but knew she couldn’t. The anger did NOT suck the life out of you. It made you wiser. Unlike so much of the light weight spirituality that iloats around until reality drops it with the dull thud of absurd and surd suffering, THIS is real. Faith is courage – the courage to be in the face of nonbeing (Paul Tillich).

    • Kay said

      Your encouragement means the world to me……both as we lived the nightmare together for years and now as you comment on my blog.

  3. HMB said

    Your words are brave and true. Anger gives access to power and strength. But it is a tricky thing to keep in balance.

    • Kay said

      I replied to you, HMB, somewhere in blogsphere, and now I can’t find it. Again, thanks for your attention and thoughts. The bravery is only a trick, but the strength and power are dearly earned! Balance is always best evaluated in retrospect and then it’s still tricky.

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