Thursday, August 21, 2008

Trading anger for peace

I used to be angry. Not an apparent anger--I wasn't irritable, abusive, bellicose or argumentative--but I could be stubbornly contrarian and there was this well of cold rage that sometimes surged upwards and radiated from me as a form of intensity that caused people to take a step (or two) backwards. I was told that I had this calm demeanor, but sometimes my eyes had flames in them, and I radiated an intensity that let people know I was displeased.

But I'm not angry anymore. And what is interesting is that the people who have come into my life the past few years don't believe that I've ever been anything but a very peaceful, loving person. I can tell them that I used to be introverted and angry and averse to attention and they don't believe me. One person, whom I've known just a year, even argued with me about my basic personality type etc. Eventually we agreed that I'm becoming what is possible for me, rather than being limited/stunted by the attitudes and expectations of the past.

I've gotten sexier, too. My appearance hasn't changed much. I don't have this great body or stunning good looks, but nonetheless, I'm more comfortable in my skin, more comfortable with honoring my feelings and being however I want to be in the moment, more peaceful and powerful, and somehow that makes me more attractive on a very fundamental basis. It is wonderful!

How did this happen? Therapy? Yes, but it only took me so far. Self-help books? A few, but there is a difference between reading a thing and 'getting' it. Self-help workshops and seminars? Just one three-course curriculum that transformed how I thought about life.

What happened was, I got a handle on the past and how it ran my life. I made my peace with it, which freed me to live in the present. But before I could do that, I had to understand the Power of Choice. That was the first major thing, and it was a moment of enlightenment. I suddenly understood that I carried the past around like a bundle of burdens and that it was my choice to carry it around or set it down. And I learned that I could set it down and walk away, or I could pick it back up and hump it around until I was ready to let it go. That was freeing, knowing I had the choice, that I wasn't losing anything by putting the past down and leaving it where it belonged--in the past. And suddenly, it all clicked, and I was at peace. Truly, deeply, at peace.

The second breakthrough was that I accepted responsibility for my life, for the choices I had made that brought me where I was, and in so doing recognized that I could create my future by intentionally choosing it--by making choices with my goals in mind. I found this very empowering and today I celebrate the small victories that reveal the incremental progress I am making toward the future I am creating for myself and my life.

The third was the breakthrough I had regarding 'fear'. I recognized that I was afraid. And I learned that everyone else is afraid, too, on a very basic level. And I learned that the difference between people who live ordinary lives and those who live extraordinary lives is that people living extraordinary lives acknowledge their fears and act anyway. They don't allow themselves to be stopped by fear or circumstance. They, to borrow Nike's trademark phrase, Just Do It. And so do I.

Fourth, I came to understand that mistakes happen, that mistakes themselves are often acts of creation, and that it really is ok to make mistakes. I am no longer paralyzed by the fear of making mistakes, and I no longer get angry with myself for making mistakes. I accept responsibility for them, do my best to clean up any messes and apologize where necessary, and then let it go and move on.

And lastly--I stopped taking Life personally. Life happens. It happens to everyone, not just me, and if I choose to take it personally-- if I'm always asking "Why does shit always happen to me?"-- then I'm choosing to see myself as a victim of life. And that will not do. When I stopped taking life personally I started living it fully and powerfully. I stopped feeling angry and helpless and stuck. I stopped sitting on the sidelines. I grabbed hold of Life with both hands and started taking big bites, started shaping it to meet my ends, and realized my own freedom. Today, I fully understand that my thoughts and attitudes are causal, creative forces in my life, and I get to choose what I think about my life and how I approach it. And as a woman thinketh, so she is.

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Anonymous sacredtouch said...


I gaze into a mirror and find that I'm reading about myself here.

I feel charmed by the reflection.

- SacredTouch

6:02 AM, August 22, 2008  
Blogger Trutblemma said...

Thank you

You make me understand things about myself, things I don't like, things that need to be changed. Now all I need is the courage, I think you have given me some of that too.

Thank you


2:57 AM, February 03, 2009  

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