It’s 2:02 in the morning. I’m up because Ed ate something that didn’t agree with him. Based upon a cursory examination, my best guess is fermented deer entrails.
As I started to get dressed to head down stairs for the dog vomit clean up kit, I felt angry.
Seems justified, right?
I pulled the first leg of my sweats on and asked myself what I was afraid of.
Kelly and I have are launching a new program we are calling The Change Militia and I am writing the content. Part of the content is about making unconscious choices conscious.
So I asked myself if my anger was a conscious choice and realized it wasn’t. It was habitual. I expected myself to be angry because that is what usually happens when I am jolted from a dead sleep by the sound of my dog doing a poor rendition of my least favorite song, loosely translated as,
“So, so, sorry dad,
seemed a good idea at the time,
coughing up deer parts is a crime,
sounding like a dinosaur chime.”
My examination of anger has led me to a simple conclusion:
Overwhelm + Fear + Demand = Anger.
Anger is always some combination of those three things and it is always a choice. Unless it is unconscious, then it is nothing more then a reaction based upon old habits and predispositions.
So, there I was, on the floor, groggily pulling on well-worn black sweatpants and I asked myself what I was afraid of? I wasn’t afraid. I was safe. The deer entrails weren’t going to zombify and come after me.
If I wasn’t afraid, how was I baking the anger cake without one of my prime ingredients?
When something happens I don’t want or like, I default to angry. That defaulting is a habit, a pattern started early in my childhood that I dragged kicking and screaming into adulthood. It is something I want to change … by increasing my conscious awareness.
Tonight, I did. I confirmed my safety and magically my anger disappeared. Right there, on the floor of the closet, even before my second leg had transited the length of the pant. My anger … evaporated.
And then I felt a desire to remain angry, that little voice in my head going “Wait, are you sure you want to let this go, you deserve it. Think of all of those delicious brain chemicals you are forgoing.” I declined and continued the process.
When I looked at my anger in the heat of the moment, in the dead of the night, I went from mad to self-appreciative. Instead of feeling angry, I felt pride and success.
I celebrated as I scooped, sprayed and scrubbed.