Maybe it's the thirty years of therapy that I've had, or perhaps just my genetic makeup, but I just don't have it in me to be an angry or bitter person. There are certainly moments when I feel anger, or even rage, but it never lasts long. I don't know if it's because it is so uncomfortable physically and mentally, that I let it go, or if it is because I know that it has never served a real purpose for me.
When I think of the things that have made me angry in my life, more often than not, when the fury subsides, I experience the more raw emotions of hurt, fear, and sadness. Being angry and displaying it, or acting from it, almost always leaves me feeling guilty for saying something I regret, or driving myself into a state of isolation, because no one wants to be yelled at, especially by a woman who keeps shaking her head no.
There are times, however, that I wish I could be that angry, bitter bitch. In some ways it just appears as though it would be easier to lash out in anger, rather than feel the waves of all the other emotions that lie underneath it. I perceive an angry outburst like a bullet hitting its target. Once it hits it's mark, the damage is done, and you can just walk away. But I'm not Annie Oakley, and I don't own a literal, or figurative gun.
Acknowledging when I am angered is the easy part. It is simple to identify the symptoms, when my blood is boiling and I feel as though I'm breathing fire. The hard part is asking myself why I feel so enraged. It means I have to dig beneath the surface, and possibly uncover faults within myself I'm not so sure I want to look at, or even admit are there. My experience has been, that more often than not, if I am angry with someone, or something, it is usually because I recognize a part of myself in their actions, or the situation. Being able to pinpoint exactly what that is, allows me to not only forgive them, but gives me permission to forgive myself.
I can't say I don't get angry, or that I never will. Nor can I promise that I won't be swept away in a moment of wrath, lose my temper, and throw a hissy fit. It has been known to happen. My hope is that if I am able to be a contemplative, forgiving, and understanding human being, I will be able to look beyond what initially lights the fire of anger, and figure out how to be a better person for the experience.