Dealing with Anger – A Fable
Once there was a man named Maury who came to this Earth to fulfill a promise he had made to his Lord and Master, the God of All Things. He and his Master had been ruminating one day about how Maury could accomplish this latest mission. You see, his Master had begun the planning determined not to furnish any secrets Maury had learned about earlier.
God said: “Go down there and give it a try. See if you can find out about Life Purpose from a completely different angle than you’d studied earlier. Go and find this out for Me and report back when you’re done.” So Maury agreed to go and God would wait for this story to unfold.
So Maury went to Earth, grew up in a physical body, lived with a human family and rediscovered this process of an unfolding life. He had seen previously how damaging dysfunctional family could be for a child, how it could so negatively affect a budding little mind. Yes, he had seen this before, but, he hadn’t experienced it himself. Now he was terrified at what he was learning.
“This is critical,” he though, in the midst of this growing up process. “How can I go on here if I have to protect myself from these negative experiences and then have to deal with my own negative thoughts? I want to hurt people! I crave affection! I am torn inside much of the time! I am at war with myself! One part of me seeks solace and comfort; another part seeks revenge; and another part seeks some kind of creative expression. How am I supposed to function in such an atmosphere?”
So Maury went on with this life. Here and there he found some comfort with friendly individuals. Occasionally he would be moved to express himself creatively. But more often than not, he found himself wanting to seek revenge on those who assaulted him and would allow such fantasies to be played out in his mind. This happened often in those early days and he had to wait for the fantasies to subside before he could return to creativity. When he was able to create he found it very satisfying and would linger there for as long as he could. When he was free to create, whatever he fashioned became the most important work he could do.
At this point in his personal evolution, Maury had become aware of something new percolating in his life, something that gave him meaning. The creative side of him was being released and sought to express itself more and more. It was truly intoxicating. The more he moved into creativity, the better he felt about himself and his life. Create something here; create something there; oh what a wondrous experience. It was like the life force itself was burgeoning forth through his physical being, always leaving him happier and deeply satisfied. It felt great! Creativity had become his solace now, a haven for him to escape to when he felt the pull of those revenge fantasies.
Meanwhile, at the back of his psychological house, his old life experiences still raged on, literally. There were measures and countermeasures being fantasized about, scheming and imagining, casting himself as hero in a play where demons were readily conquered. In that part of his life he was always at war with somebody, and imagining how he could even the score.
During those days he was reminded regularly about how judgmental he had become and how his anger kept people away. This was an observation echoed by many in his family group, and some very close friends as well. Maury began to accept that he had to let that judgmental streak go. Life was too short. So much creativity was possible with all its inherent rewards. Why waste any more time with this way of living?
Fast forward a few years and see our friend Maury plodding along with his life, working hard at personal growth and trying to find out who he really was deep inside. Maury had given priority to his creative side. He enjoyed what he termed was the Garden of Eden, the true playground of creativity. He pulled himself back from that storm sewer of rage and forced himself to make new choices, positive choices that went against that deeply ingrained desire for revenge. As he struggled with this new direction, he experienced waves of confusion where he felt out of control, something he deeply hated. In the Garden he felt alive and more himself than anywhere else. Creativity was joy. Anger was betrayal to one’s holy self within.
The choices Maury had to make should be easier than this, he thought. He knew he should choose the creative path. “But how do you let go of those clouds of confusion?” He realized he had to more formally let go of this raging part of himself. Of that there was no longer any doubt. “But why was this so difficult?” he continuously asked himself.
“Let of your anger, Maury,” he said often. “I can’t live that way any more. Just let it go!” He repeated this to himself over and over, every day when it felt that necessary. He understood now that the rage he had been carrying was foisted on him by a dysfunctional family environment dominated by a raging father. Along with this model of raging at the world came perfectionist expectations which could never be attained, guaranteeing a further devolution of fragile self-esteem. Maury realized that only disaster lay in following that track. He had lived there long enough at this point. It was time to dig deeper and rip out that root.
Maury had been letting go for some time but not completely it would seem. What could be the delay in letting go completely? A part of Maury felt like it was about to die. If he let go of his anger he would surely fade away and be nothing. This part believed his anger kept him alive and there was power in those fantasies. But the war, in terms of dysfunctional family attributes, had been over for some time now. The troops had all gone home so to speak. Maury was the only one standing on the battlefield, mouthing such phrases as “fight to the end!” But who was he to fight with? Mostly itself it seemed, as the same old fantasies went into dogged reruns. The scenario had become so familiar it was near impossible to let it go.
As Maury continued his struggle to let go, he began to see some light in all the drama. He firmly believed there had to be a way off the merry-go-round and he saw his release coming through creativity. Being creative was the only way out and he now pursued this avenue with dogged determination. The key now was to allow creativity to flow by allowing the negative feelings free expression also. All of this feeling activity came through the same channel. Self-acceptance meant he could feel those old wounds, without engaging in revenge fantasies, and move quickly back into the creative mode.
Once this realization was firmly established Maury let himself create more freely. He would write stories and poems, create music when so moved, always allowing his now freed imagination to soar with the eagles. He now lived in a magnificent world of flying saucers, magical beings, wondrous adventures, a landscape that became filled with peace and love. The anger wasn’t completely gone, because anger did have a place in the creative process. But the rage was gone and that was the major difference. Absent the rage, he was free to create to his heart’s content.
Maury was feeling good now. His hopes and dreams were alive and well and he felt peaceful and satisfied like he did on the day he left his Master’s side. That seemed so long ago now, when he first embarked on this lesson to learn all about anger’s many dimensions. He saw anger in a positive light now, and as completely different from the rage he had been programmed with in those early dysfunctional family years. The rage fantasies had dissipated; thanks to his efforts which included the acquisition of helpful resources and professional help when the going got particularly rough.
Maury had carried his anger all through his Earthly youth, and it served him until he realized its negative effects. Once he became determined to let it go, he found the resources and help that ultimately set him free. Now he was enjoying true freedom and grace in his life. These became his now moment, as he continued to create and revel in the joy of that on-going process. Creativity, he realized, was way too much fun to ever be put aside. Raging at imaginary wrong-doings was a folly he no longer participated in. Creativity was the best medicine of all and where he once again found the true freedom he enjoyed when setting out on this adventure at the beginning of our story.
His Master had warned him that this would be difficult, but well worth the effort in the end. Because once you had this lesson fully ingrained and resolved, you would never have to repeat it again. And so it was, a lesson where creativity overcomes anger and rage. Maury felt blessed and was indeed grateful. “But never again,” he promised himself. “This one requires no repeating, thank you very much.”