For 20 years my heart has been angry. Day to day, I’ve been a calm, rational, sensible, grown up (sometimes more than others) like anyone else. I’ve grown. I’ve matured.
But underneath, I’ve been screaming. And much of the time, I was too deaf to hear my own subconscious.
When I was a kid things happened at home and outside of home which did me a lot of damage. Betrayal, mistrust, fear all became part of my soul. And the injustice at people who’d hurt me not being held accountable, being let off the hook fuelled a bitterness and resentment in me.
It began as righteous anger. But it quickly got out of control. I grew up, but my anger didn’t. A 15 year old wanting to be heard but constantly ignored. Hurt, betrayed and bulled, with no resolution.
And he’s been angry ever since.
He doesn’t get much screen time now. I’ve grown up. I’ve matured. I moved on. For years, it’s barely surfaced. I could disconnect myself from it, and examine it rationally.
That said, those moments I did have weren’t good. They almost exclusively happened when I was on my own. For example, if something broke or got lost just before I went to bed, it would either cause an anxiety attack or unleash some anger, and my head would be pumped full of energy and adrenalin. I wouldn’t be able to sleep until that thing was fixed or found. Even if I didn’t get angry, the blood would still be pumping.
More recently, I’ve been confronting my demons. After 20 years, God suggested it was the right time to confront them rather than continuing to hide from them. I knew He was right, so I chose to go to that place – knowing it would lead to low moods, engaging with emotion I’d ignored for a long time, and take me to the darkest parts of myself.
So anger and anxiety has become more prominent for a period, as have low moods, fear, frustration. And, I have to say, the occasional feelings of hope, excitement and optimism.
Hope & An X-Box
This, of course, brings me to my X-Box.
The other night, it had been acting strange YouTube signing out by itself, Netflix on the blink. Nothing to worry about, just unusual.
But just before I went to bed, the power tripped. Everything turned off and on again. I heard a mini explosion, like a fuse blowing, and my X-Box went dead. I calmly went to turn it on, but it was dead.
This, would normally be my cue to get angry. Or feel anger. But something else happened.
I unplugged the X-Box, moved it to one side, and thought, matter-of-factly, “Oh well, it’s probably the fuse. I’ll go get a new fuse tomorrow, and if not I’ll take it in to get looked at. No problem”.
Then I stopped and noticed myself. What I was doing or feeling – and what I wasn’t doing or feeling.
There was no tension in my body. No raised voice. No anger, anxiety or stress. No emotion or adrenaline clouding my brain and keeping me awake. Nothing. Just peace. Calm. I was even kind of joking with myself, thinking it was kind of funny.
I remember thinking, “This is weird. Good weird”. I’d had a reaction previously alien to me. It was like I was someone I didn’t recognise. Someone I actually liked.
Inside I was feeling like “This is surprising, weird, but good. I like this reaction. I like didn’t know it could be like this. I like who I am when I’m like this. More of this please”.
For me, this was an outright miracle. A fuse blowing, but my fuse not blowing (and yes, the pun is totally intended. I like my puns.).
Now I’d love to say I’ve not been angry or anxious since, but that’s not the case. I’ve still had occasional moments. But there is a big difference now which is helping me deal with it better.
And sometimes, hope is all we have. All that keeps us from falling apart.
Hope is what holds the seams of our lives together when nothing else can. (you can tweet that). Hope gives us the possibility of a better tomorrow. We see it. We feel it. And we begin to believe.
I’m still very broken. Still hurting. But now I have hope life can be better. I can be better. It’s small, but it’s just enough to sustain me.
So search desperately for hope. Look for it wherever you can. And when you find it, hold on to it like the precious jewel it is.
Are you with me?
Question For Reflection:
What are the signs of hope in your life?
Let me know the comments below.
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Picture Source: Mourgefile (used by permission)
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