Two house finches perch beside the fresh water I put out for birds in a pie pan atop a three-tiered plant holder. I mix the hot and cold water for the pitcher hoping to keep the water from freezing longer. They seem confused by the steam rising off the water. But then they alight and sip together their own version of morning tea.
Last night I met my murderous rage. I had promised my heart that if I started to feel triggered at Christopher, I would withdraw and meditate. So it was upstairs in the dance room by the fireplace on two cushions that I met her.
Last night, for the first time in my life, I let myself imagine murdering the three 10-year-old girls who made my 4th grade life hell. It felt so satisfying. Then I realized I felt fierce rage also at Christopher, at God, and at myself. I really wanted vengeance. The fire felt eons old and seemed to originate either at all men for their domination over women for millennia or at my beloved’s soul in particular. (We think we may have some sordid past-life history.) I really felt that I’d feel better if I killed him.
I stayed with this rage allowing myself to feel all this, attending to it in meditation. After feeling the intensity of my vengeance, this part inside me that had held it for so long decided she wanted to back away from this ledge and choose what would improve my life and make me happy. After all, we both know you don’t actually feel better when you commit violence. And all these times I’ve thought about my marriage: “I can’t do this anymore,” it’s this rage, this rage that I’ve wanted to stop. In the end, I forgave her who is me who is God who is Christopher who is even my bullies.
I’ve learned with rage that first, we have to let ourselves consciously feel it fully before we can let it go. In order to make a different choice, I had to embrace and allow the full-on force of my rage. I’d never been able to do that before. Feeling this when it first rose as a 10-year-old child, I was horrified and didn’t know what to do with it. Because my mother cried when I got mad at her, I’d been primed to understand that anger harms, so certainly wanting to murder three children in my class likely made me a bad person. No one could know. No one could find out.
I could, at last, forgive my bullies because I’d become them, embodying one of the most destructive lies of our human history: If I hurt you, I’ll feel better. ‘Tis a lie that has perpetuated all wars, much of suffering throughout human history. Maybe this kind of rage fuels the alt-right movement.
I think many who’ve been hurt carry this destruction inside. The thunderous power of rage reeks to high heaven, but it’s a human smell and we all stink with it. To pretend otherwise has allowed the murderer in me to fight in the shadows like a renegade, hurting me and others where and when she could. Claiming her in her wholeness and admitting her to others is what will finally make me “safer” to be around.
What murderous rage have you been hiding?
I’m not suggesting that we put logs on this fire. But I am suggesting that all emotions, even the most violent and angry, must be felt fully in order to transform.
I wound up preaching, which feels like the easy way out. But then, I’ve been wrestling demons at night, both inside and in fearful events before the Jan. 20 Inauguration Ceremony. In the end, I am my enemies and they are me. I am not holier than thou. Though as children of God, I see the divinity in you and I free the murderous rage in me because maybe her pivot toward peace and happiness can help us both, will help us all.
I choose to soften into Trust rather than nihilism. We focus on the beauty and bounty of a new day.
I love us all. I forgive the you in me, the me in you, and love us for eternity. Thank you. I’ve given you my heart of darkness. I hope feeding on it will sustain us through what’s to come as we rocket into truth, into love, into the light.