My last post was about The Power of Fear and how Beam Larson, the teenage runaway from Say Something, tried to keep herself safe by letting her fear dictate her actions. For Beam, since all dogs could bite, that meant all dogs were bad and potentially would bite. By keeping her distance, she protected herself. (There’s a correlation there with what’s currently going on in America.)
Beam’s grandmother, Noreen Larson, protected herself through anger. What was she so mad about? Her husband died and left her alone. Her daughter ran off and disappointed her at every step of the way. The world had not treated her fairly. So she built a wall (infer from that what you will, but yes, it’s a metaphor). If she barked at her employees at work and kept them on their toes, stuff got done. And she took responsibility for it. Pride in her accomplishments. She was making a living on her own.
One thing she couldn’t do on her own was fix up the house she’d bought. She didn’t trust Buzz Donovan to do the work at first, because she’d been disappointed before. She didn’t want to let Beam back into her life because she feared that meant letting Lana in too. And she sure as heck didn’t want a dog around getting in the way, eating up her grocery bill, and tearing things up.
Anger had served her in many ways. But eventually it became more of an obstacle.
If fear keeps us safe, how does anger serve us? It galvanizes us. Wakes us up to threats, slaps us across the face, and shouts at us to TAKE ACTION!
I’m normally a polite, soft-spoken person. But if someone threatens me or someone close to me, anger can get me to do things I normally wouldn’t. And at critical times in my life it has served me well.
But there can also come a time when anger becomes an obstacle — to closeness, to compromise, to cooperation … and to truth.
If you’ve been harboring a long-standing anger, ask yourself what purpose it now serves. Would you be better off to set it aside so you can move forward?
Anger, like all of our emotions, is a tool. We shouldn’t deny it. It has its place. But it can also cloud our judgment and be destructive.
I’m a very emotional person and I’m constantly trying to understand where those emotions fit in and what good they do. I can do that by telling stories. And maybe by reading mine and others, you can make a little more sense out of your life and the world around you too.