We talk so much louder with our actions than our words. How we treat other people, what rankles us, what motivates us, who our heroes are–these speak volumes about who we are regardless of what’s on our resumes.
What gets you mad?
If you step back and look reasonably objectively at it, you can get glimpses into your inner self that may appall you. Maybe ego, pride, pettiness, and self-pity are more present than you would have ever guessed, and now’s the time to change that up and set your sites on bigger foes.
There is something about organizing closets or sleeping floors that is therapeutic. Where once there was a mess, now there is order. And when done to soothe your mood, the activity brings a sense of calm. Short, angry jabs of the broom become slow graceful sweeps, until what was once dirty becomes clean.
Sweeping dirty floors is a great metaphor for tackling most any problem, including anger and fear. Anger tells us where the work needs to be done; activity gives us a place to put that surge of adrenaline, and focusing on the task turns our attention away from fear to the project at hand.
Angry words. Personal attacks. It seems too common these days for someone to try to win an argument by cutting their opponent down at the knees rather than, for example, by having a good argument. But the personal attacks are just keeping everyone wounded and hurting. No progress is made. Real issues go unaddressed. Everyone suffers.
What if, instead, we try to respond to people without tensing up and bracing for impact, without turning to an angry smear, without trying to wound?
What if, even better, we look for ways to lift each other up?
Have you ever wished you could erase someone or something from your mind? That you could go back to that time when you hadn’t messed up or been hurt? We long for that before, don’t we? We hold on to the anger or regret because we miss that before so much, that innocent time before something wounded us or before we wounded someone else.
But holding that emotion grounds us in the past and our wounds don’t heal, but fester. It happened. We can’t erase it or take it back. We need to acknowledge that bad stuff happens, sometimes stuff we do ourselves, and move on, forgiving ourselves and others, into the future we have in front of us now rather than longing for the future we had in front of us before.
This, right here, right now, is what your life is. The future in front of you is built on all the things that have happened to you and things you have done up to this point, even the bad things.
Step into that future, let go of the past, and be the best you you can be.