I have a troubled relationship with rage. For years I repressed any and all feelings of anger, resentment, bitterness, frustration–well, you get the idea. I was just a nice person. I led a “nice” life.
And then one day I became angry. Really, really angry. I wanted to break every plate in my house. I settled for drilling holes in the ceiling of my bedroom.
That was four years ago.
And still, some days the rage seethes and threatens to erupt. To spill over the surface of my heart and crash into the light of day. To affect my family. To ground this ship of my life into the rocks. To bury. To lay waste to all I hold precious and dear.
Where does this come from? I wonder. What am I angry for?
And those moments that knock the very breathe out of my body…those are the moments when I bend knees to the dust. Remind myself that there is beauty in the midst of the ugly. Recall the wonder of butterfly wings. The delicacy of Queen Anne’s Lace. The scent of lemons and lavender on a summer breeze.
Life isn’t fair. Most of my deep, pondering questions remain unanswered. I cannot reconcile the pain and suffering of the world with the grace and light of the Divine. I struggle against the very flesh on my own bones. I wrestle. I think of Jacob who dreamed all night that he was fighting with a man. This man, it turns out, was God and He hit Jacob in the most vulnerable place. Caused him to tremble and perhaps crumble a bit? And when I think of that story, I am comforted. It’s in the wrestling, the angst, that we come to know more fully the face of God and our own place in the grand scheme of things. We were born fighters–hungry for air. Battling to breathe. To inhale. Exhale. And fighters get angry. They beat out against things. The unknown? The injustice? The wrongness present in life?
And then I am calm. The rage ebbs away. And I mutter thanksgiving under my breathe until the glory that dwells all around me bursts before my eyes. And I cut myself a little slack. It’s ok to be angry sometimes. It’s ok to not even know why the anger’s there. And then it must be released. It will burn itself out and the ashes of that rage grow the sweetest flowers of humility and gratitude.