A Blazing Fire

Anger brought me here.

There are some particular things that are certain to set me off.  Bullies set me off.  Injustice sets me off.  Republican politics (being honest, right?) set me off.

My sons fighting physically really sets me off.

Tonight I showed a remarkable lack of skill.  I could hear them upstairs fighting and hitting each other.  This was a full-blown.  My 11-year-old came down holding his stomach and crying.  I lost it.

I didn’t yell at my 14-year-old.  I screamed at him.  In his face.  I was like a drill sergeant.  A 14-year-old might find reasons to cry, but it shouldn’t be his father making it happen.

I cooled down and talked about what I did wrong, and I apologized to him, as well as to my other son.

He’s forgiven me, and I him for getting physically violent with his brother, but I’m having trouble forgiving me.  I’m still so young in practice, and in learning to be awake and aware, but I’d let myself be caught up in a poor mood all day long, and rather than skillfully address it, I just let it simmer, so that when something challenging came up, my mind wasn’t prepared for it.  I was sleeping.

I don’t think you can behave like that without leaving scars, even little ones.  My mother was verbally violent on occasion.  Even though she was a great, dedicated mom, those things stick with you.  Not so much the damage to the psyche as the picking up of habits.  I’m so much like her in that way.  I have the chance and the power to break the patterns – to replace anger and violence with gentleness and compassion.

But I didn’t do that today.  And I can’t go back.  There is only now.  Some time on the cushion is needed.

Off to spend some time with my sons first, though.  They need me to spend some time with them gently, not hole up by myself.

And I need it too.

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3 Responses to A Blazing Fire

  1. Paula says:

    Well. I think you should fix that if it disturbs you … and yelling/anger coming from a man can be a scary thing. I yelled at my girls a lot, I confess. But I don’t think it did any damage because who in the heck ever takes me seriously? Not a kid, not a cat, not anyone. I think the bigger deal about anger is that it only creates more of the same, whether it’s in others or just in yourself, which is something I realized growing up around my parents … and then sort of forgot during my last relationship. My eHarmony analysis (of all things) reminded me of that and that if we control our anger when we want to (like at work), that means we really can control it the rest of the time, too, and just choose not to. Kind of empowering, if you’ll forgive the cliche. So, for myself, I have re-vowed to speak up in a calm way, way before I get to the boiling over point, no matter what the relationship consequences might be. Because if someone can’t handle me calmly stating that I need something or dislike something, then I shouldn’t be with them. And this will be much more effective than yelling after it’s too late anyway … because then everything becomes about the anger and the yelling and apologizing for that … and uh what happened to the actual issue? :)

  2. ToonForever says:

    and that if we control our anger when we want to (like at work), that means we really can control it the rest of the time, too, and just choose not to.

    Well said, all of it – but I particularly like this. I will carry that with me :)

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