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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Today's Lesson: Anger Is A Disease

My mother suffered from it greatly.

I am not talking about benign brain tumors, although she did suffer from those as well.

No, she suffered from the disease of almost constant anger, and while she technically died from a fungal infection, the real death (of spirit) was caused by a lifetime of anger that she never seem to understand, let alone resolve.  Causes?  There were plenty, but you know what?  Each and every one of us have reasons to be angry.  We are all slighted by life in big ways and in small.  We are all given this opportunity to either rise above or sink below a certain level of personal rage at the world.

Today I spent the day in two two different hospitals, 100+ miles apart, helping a family member who suffered an unexpected and very serious medical issue.  And while I also spent more than enough time rummaging through Internet sites trying to understand anything and everything about the issue at hand, part of me deep down inside knows the root cause:  anger.

This is another angry person.  Someone with a knack for seeing the worst in most situations.  Someone who never let slip an opportunity to disparage or demonize.  A person who the slightest of set-backs created all manner of opportunity for raging.  A person who is not even aware that their anger has become an essential part of their existence.

The anger will not be denied though, and when some try to mask it in a variety of different, creative and sometimes illicit ways, it just works double-time behind the scenes until it literally shatters a body and a mind.

The only way to beat anger is to acknowledge it and deal with it head-on.

I felt angry today, by the way.  Angry at what had happened.  Angry at the pain being caused to others.  Angry at putting my own life on the line driving 200+ miles in horrible road conditions.  And yet that anger quickly turned into a kind of pity, because I know the person in question can't help it.  They don't know how to even acknowledge their anger, let alone be able to deal with it head-on.

In the end, I can point to many short-comings in my own life, many failings of both great and small magnitudes.  However in one important way I have been truly blessed:  I don't suffer from the disease of anger.  It has no control over me.

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