Anger, oh it is a powerful tool – and I have found it to be an ineffective emotion to move about the changes I want in my life. So often, I find myself angry about the same things, with the same people. For me, I am beginning to see that the anger – the reoccurring anger is just the negative energy/forces, Eckhart Tolle calls it the Ego, others refer to it as the Adversary – whatever the name, that Influence uses the same tools of the past to impact the present.
The source of my anger often roots in the same place, in this case it is my father. For those who have read my book, I have spoken of him in great detail. My dad (in my truth) shows up ineffectively ---that is a diplomatic way of saying he shows up as a hot mess. Throughout my life, I found my father a person difficult for me to hold space for; he has a propensity to be irresponsible with his words, using profanity to refer to his kids, I will never forget when my dad looked me in my eyes at 12 and said he was tired of seeing my f***king face, and was glad he would not have to see my f***king face anymore – we did not speak again for six years after that -to this day, those words linger with me.
To further complement things, my father did little in comparison to most for his kids: emotionally, financially, and spiritually. I suppose now, looking back on it, the spiritually bankrupt can’t afford to pay your debts if they can’t pay their own. So, the stories of the past, become the anger of the present.
The anger rooted in a frustration with my father that he does not take responsibility for his actions, for a father who avoids the complexity of responding to pain, for a father who is poor (and I don’t mean in the monetary sense), and does little to increase his wealth. As I write this, I acknowledge the judgmental undertones of what I share, that’s one of my imperfections, and perhaps those who experienced me in that fashion (judgmental) can write their own piece on that – for now, I will continue to speak to my own experience, with the prayer someone else relates, connects, and is able to produce powerful breakthroughs.
So, I was sitting with all this anger, and little access to let it out – all I wanted to do is call my father and unleash a wrath of hate, a wrath of hurt, a wrath of pain; again, as I mentioned anger has does little for me to move forward those things I want to manifest in my life. In the throes of my anger, I got still, very still. I waited for calm to set in, for peace to take residency in my heart, and with time, the small, still, and yes, quiet powerful voice from within said, “Darren, it was necessary.”
My niece and nephews came to my mind, and I thought about how I have never used my tongue to be a weapon to compromise their spirit, to make them question their worth, to make them look upon me with disdain. I thought about how my mom was a single parent experiencing the financial challenges that many single parents face; thus, I had to get my first job at 14. I walked to work, day-in and day-out, that experience walking to work at 14, gave me a work ethic that carried me through college, carried me through graduate school, and carries me today as a professor. I think about my father’s inability to show up as a constructive emotional presence in my life, and how that has informed my practices of: meditating daily, working out on a regular basis, and faithfully engaging in the practice of going to therapy.
The other day, I heard the phrase, “you may not pay what you owe, but you will reap what you sow.” So as I reap the fruits of working earnestly to use my words for good – and I see that manifest in the loving ways my niece and nephews look at me…when I reap the fruits of going to class to teach (doing the work I love), when I reap the fruits of harnessing my power responsibly through meditation, exercise, and therapy…and yes, in those moments when I am in the dark place of despair known as anger, I say to myself, alas, it was all necessary.