I wrote a piece once called ‘I want to be touched indecently’ and it wasn’t about sex. It was about need and companionship – but not sexual. In the piece, I said a line ‘I deny my true feelings in favor of the abstract hoping to mask feelings through misdirection.’ That was true for me 11 years ago when I wrote it, and it’s true for me today.
What I have learned in the hardest way possible is how to respond to life and not react to it. I am not always successful. I am not even successful most of the time. This is my admission of my human fallible tendencies. I am human after all.
The noise, if we can call it that, in my head sometimes makes it difficult for me to hear what’s happening around me. That’s not accurate at all. The noise in my head is like elevator music – playing in the background of all of my life’s experiences. I hear it when it’s quiet but otherwise, ignore it. A metaphor for conscious, in case you missed it.
If we truly want to feel inner peace, we must take the time to learn to be mindful instead of mind full. This and only this will allow us to respond to life instead of reacting to it. Many of us have numerous happy memories from our past, but it’s the harsh ones we often replay over and over again – until we heal them. The problem is that we speak from anger because we don’t always know how to handle the frustration and emotions cascading through our hearts. However, speaking from anger should NEVER feel right.
In a moment of crisis, we speak from a place of anger and fear. But what are those fears? For me it is feeling unloved and invisible too often in my life – recall I suffer from fear of emotional abandonment and a fractured relationship with my mom. If I can be completely honest, my anger comes from not only feeling totally unseen but by never feeling truly and totally loved. Loved in pieces. Loved in context. Loved seasonally. Not totally loved for me though, that I haven’t felt. (Caveat: from friends, yes. From ‘lovers’, no.)
As an adult, I now know and teach that you must love yourself before you can love another. As a human though, I don’t always follow my own advice. I continue to teach and try to listen to myself. But that noise…all too often, I give too much of myself only to feel agitated, annoyed, and empty. This is when I react to life. This is when I speak out of anger instead of love. Hurtful words come from hurting hearts. For me, it never makes me feel better to spew hurtful words at another. It’s not just guilt but I feel somehow lessened by the act – regressed even; it is not a good feeling.
When we feel these negative feelings, it’s extremely difficult to respond to life because we are too busy reacting to our painful emotions. On the other hand, when we respond to life, we take the time to quiet our minds and silence the noise before we speak. At this point, I should say something ‘wise-sounding’ like take a deep breath before you speak when you feel angry. Or walk away and give yourself a moment to process before you respond in anger. However, as I’ve pointed out, we’re humans.
The ‘hard’ reality is you need to figure out who you’re mad at and what you’re mad about. Your anger comes from a place of fear. I know, I know…but hear me out. I said hurtful words come from hurting hearts. Hurting hearts come from unhealed wounds. How long ago or how deep the wound is left to individual cases. For me, I know it stems from a childhood fraught with the feeling of being utterly alone in a house full of people. You have to dig through your own hurts to find the source. It’s neither pretty or easy – but it is necessary.
It is important to speak your truth. However, you want to be sure it’s your truth that’s coming out and not your fears. Be mindful of your thoughts, your words, and your actions, because words of anger will never heal the human heart.
P.S. If you speak out of anger because you have unresolved fears and a hurting heart, understand that others may be doing the same. When you can acknowledge that, you have a rare opportunity to be a source of healing rather than an additional source of hurt.