I found myself furious at a friend today. I was so blinded by rage that I could not even be in her presence. I had to walk away. The level of hurt and disrespect I was feeling underneath my seething anger felt so raw, so exposed, that I knew I would lash out in unnecessary ways, allowing the full extent of my anger off its leash and unattended to harm as it pleased, carelessly and without thought. While I did not let loose I also did not allow myself to stay present. I carried my rage with me for hours after the incident. I took myself out of the present moment by allowing myself to be consumed and blinded by my anger.

I unrolled my yoga mat, plopped my butt down, and attempted to focus on calming my mind and body via watching my exhalations. The deeper my breaths the calmer my mind, but my mind didn’t want to be calm, it wanted to be angry. So my breathing would become shallow, my mind and body would tense, and I would gently ease myself into deeper breathing again. My mind would wander and my breath would become shallow. I would ease myself to deeper breaths, and well, you get the idea. After accepting that I was not ready to let go yet I began moving. I started sweating instantly, and not just because it was hot. My body was trying to release what my mind was holding onto. I did not feel strong or grounded. My balance was wobbly, my warrior poses felt pathetic and weak, my muscles were shaky, and I was dripping with sweat. (Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not a big sweater.) My mind wanted to be with the anger and hurt knocking around inside that brain of mine. My body wanted to let go, was trying to let go, and yet was defeated.

I wrote a letter. It did not quell the flames. I edited and re-edited and re-edited the letter thinking that if I could calmly get out my feelings, get it out in the open all of the holes in the ship of our friendship that I have been ignoring or trying to unsuccessfully patch by myself, and how what happened today basically filled the boat with water I would feel better. It just made me want to scream. In a much calmer state I finally sent my friend a VERY edited version of this letter. And yet I still feel wounded.

I am still working on my relationship with my anger. I know what it is capable of doing to others. I am fully aware of how it emboldens me to say things in ways that are so uncensored and brash that I not only harm others, but I shut them out. I am still not capable of being present with my anger and another person because I do not trust myself enough to not hurt the other person far more than they have hurt me simply to say I have won. Won what? The grand prize of biggest asshole? The fight that I will ensure destroys the relationship? There is no winning with anger…everyone loses.


About djunapassman

I teach yoga, write, and edit. I live in a Brooklyn neighborhood that is changing faster than I can, or care to, keep up with. Manhattan still beckons me to her island a few subways stops away, reminding me of when I lived amongst her daily hustle and bustle.
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