My tradition for July 4 is to declare independence from something important. Not that the British Empire isn’t important… oh, wait, right. It’s not an Empire any longer, is it. (No offense, Brit friends – it’s more that our world doesn’t really need that whole Imperial jazz, you know, we seem to get along better without it.) (And okay, history buffs, the true age of the British Empire per se might have been a bit after that whole Revolutionary War jazz, but you have to admit, it’s pretty American not to let history get in the way of making a point. And besides, I declare poetic license.)
Now where was I? Right, declaring independence from something important. And this year, I’m going to try declaring Independence from Anger.
Anger has its place. It can help focus our attention on wrongs that need righting, for example. But here’s what I see in myself: Anger closes my ears, my eyes, and my heart. Anger convinces me it’s more important to defend my position or prove myself right than to listen, see, and feel.
Anger wants me to divide the world into “us” and “them.” Anger tries its best to find (or create) evidence that “they” are “bad.” This, I think, is Anger’s way of reassuring me that “I” am “good.”
Which tells me that Anger is born of insecurity. Deep inside, don’t we all know we’re good? That quiet, sweet, soft voice in our hearts speaks truth: you are beautiful, you are loving, you are giving, you are human.
So tomorrow, July 4, is Independence [from Anger] Day ’round here. Celebrated the traditional way: with food, sunshine, family, friends, lots and lots of water (the high temperature should be about 101F), and peaceful times to sit and listen to the quiet sweet soft true voice of our hearts.
(If you have seven minutes, this little video will help explain how Anger moves through the InterWebNet in ways you might want to resist a little, too.)