The last couple of months I’ve gotten very good at holding on tight.
Anger is one of the things I’ve been keeping close lately. After some serious soul searching I realised I’ve picked up the strange conviction that holding Anger close (yes capital A) is good for warding off enemies. The enemies being: Disappointment. Hurt. Sadness. And Shame.
Other emotions I seem to be able to let go pretty easily. Pride is felt for just a second, Happy and Joy can linger for days, but will inevitably be pushed off by Anger, because Anger has guard duty. Needless to say, this is getting tiresome. I’m not a negative person, on the contrary.
I do however have a problem with boundaries. I usually have no clue where they are.
One of the reasons for this is that, at heart, I’m somewhat naïve. I don’t tend to be suspicious of other people’s motives. So when someone crosses my boundaries and is stampeding through my personal space, my first thought is that he/she doesn’t know or doesn’t mean what they’re saying or doing. Or worse: I think it is my fault. So insecurity is also playing a role in this. After he/she is gone and I look at the ravage that’s left behind, I set my boundaries closer to home, where I can see them. And I appoint a guard.
The Anger guard is a very expensive one, it costs tons of energy. And to be honest I miss my naïve self. I like not worrying about other people’s motives. I have my hands full worrying about my own and how to be true to them. Anger has a function, it shows me I have boundaries and I should protect them. But I’m not protecting myself hiding behind Anger, by building walls around my vulnerable core.
So here I am, at my computer typing this post. And drawing a line in the sand in my personal space for my old friend. Anger is a veteran, he knows this battle is over, but there will be another, and another. For now he can enjoy some time off, admire the coastline, see me rebuild myself, touching around and feeling where my boundaries are and if they’re where I want them to be.
Emotions are useful, they protect us, show us what our values are. But when we’ve felt them, and know why they’ve popped up, we should release them.
Let them go and there will be room for all of them. Hold tight and the one in your grasp will make you forget the others.
They’re what we feel. Not who we are.