“Within an intimate relationship, anger is inevitable. Expressing anger becomes an act of trust that the other person is important and capable of handling the anger.”
Patrick Carnes: A Gentle Path through the 12 Steps
Now I am angry! I haven’t heard this before. I mean, yes these words have been spoken to me many times. However, I did not have my ears on straight enough to actually hear them. I can tell you why I haven’t heard them ‘til now. It’s because I’ve been quite selfish in my experiences with anger. I’m only thinking of me, my anger, and my fears of the other person’s retaliation. (There’s that F word again!)
First, I keep my anger about me and not about us. Why? Simple! I am very inexperienced in my honesty with anger. I like to be the nice guy and anger does not fit my definition of nice. I like to be kind and gentle and anger has no place in my definition of kind and gentle. I want to be liked and I don’t believe others will like me when I am angry. I, I, I, me, me, me……
Now I have an opportunity to put on my big boy pants. This is a confession of my childish perspectives on anger. I need to confess and admit to myself my need to grow up. Here’s the opportunity because growing requires that I trust another person. As Patrick Carnes states, the expression of anger becomes an act of trust. Ouch! Another confession: I don’t trust others enough to be honest with my anger. I obviously don’t trust myself enough to be honest with my anger. What am I afraid of? Honesty? Pain? Change? Growth? Grace? Love? You? God?
I’ll be still for a moment and listen.
There is a growing mountain of evidence that I am loved. Many people contribute to this evidence so I’ll check my ears, my eyes and my soul. Yes, there you all are, along with countless others who are no longer physically present or geographically present. Yet, in stillness, you are the evidence of grace and love. So…….. herein lies my challenge for today: connect my soul to my eyes, ears, and Spirit, again. Continue the practice of this connection, this act of mindfulness which is the substance of my sobriety. Trust will continue to grow. Fear will continue to dissipate, and God will continue to pile the evidence of grace and love. This is the substance of the 12 steps. This is the substance of yoga practice. This is the substance of Spirituality as I am growing to know it.
So, at this very moment, I am at peace in my happy place, somewhere beside restful waters. You are here with me. I am grateful.