Most of us have heard the quote “Be the change you want to see in the world.” For me, that translates into a need to reduce angry reactive programming within myself. Society these days is full of poisonous hate. A message we receive over and over again is that we are supposed to get pissed off if somebody offends us. Embedded in that is the understanding that inconvenience and disagreement are offensive. I have let it be known that it bothers me to see all the hatefulness I have witnessed the past several months. Yet, I have not always kept my own angry reactions in check when offended. There have been times when I felt extraordinarily angry because of minor offenses. Granted I suspect there is a hormonal/chemical component to that, it is still worth noting.
I’m not saying I need to ignore my anger. I am saying that I need to check it. I need to ask myself a few questions when I feel anger rising in me:
- Why am I getting so upset?
- Is this worth my energy?
- Can I turn what I have learned from this into something worth sharing?
I will elaborate a bit on those questions. Sometimes the answer to why we are getting so upset is deeper than what is obvious. For example, I got upset the other night after reading fear mongering comments under a video about spirit guides. The surface of the problem was that people were disrespecting the vlogger by using a patronizing tone to tell him and his followers to “wake up” and that any spirit guide they contact would be a deceptive evil entity. My objection to such comments went deeper than that disrespect though. It stirred up the weird little girl in me who doesn’t want to be told she is bad or foolish because she thinks differently than those around her. It stirred up the frustration that comes with all the fears and doubts that are faced when trying to explore an alternative path. It was a reminder of why I stay largely in the broom closet.
That evening I found myself venting in a post that I decided not to publish. I realized that typing out my thoughts was helpful to release them, but the post was probably not worth sharing with others. The situation didn’t merit any more energy from me. If it wasn’t worth my energy, it didn’t make sense to have readers waste their energy on it. Continuing with this example, I can answer the third question. This post is an example of turning what I have learned into something worth sharing. What makes a post worth sharing (in my opinion) is that it pleases me to share it. It pleases me to share when I believe I might provide a helpful “aha” moment or pleasant distraction to at least one reader.
To summarize; I am undertaking a personal challenge to alter the way I respond to anger. I don’t want to be a person who reacts to fire with fire, and I don’t want to be a person that makes a mountain out of a mole hill. I am likely to falter at times, but that does not mean failure as long as I get back on track. I invite you to take on this challenge with me. If you have already mastered this, perhaps you want to challenge yourself with another way to be the change you want to see in the world.
Blessed be, y’all.