Anger is a funny emotion. Sometimes it can appear in seconds…and disappear as fast. But, it some cases, it can last years….or even a lifetime. We are all guilty of having grudges…helping anger fester in our hearts for a ridiculous amount of time. And we can hold on to that anger so long that we forget why we were even mad in the first place. But, fate gives us chances. Chances to fix that. Chances to finally let go of the long-lasting anger. And when we decide to give up on that anger, questions may float in our hearts depending on the situation.
“Should I stay mad? Why am I mad in the first place? Is that person mad at me too?”
Now, if someone wronged you…it’s easy to fix. Not because your feelings are not important, but because the person who wronged you is waiting on you….waiting for forgiveness and acceptance. It starts and ends with you. But, if you are the person who wronged someone it is more difficult. You may sit there and become angry because that person is angry with you. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous?
“What? So-and-so is mad at me? Well, I don’t care…I’m mad at them for that one time they did that one thing.”
But, we are all guilty of that.
Now, if you wronged someone and they are angry with you, that is much more difficult. You have no reason to be mad at them…and they have all the anger. That’s where time comes into play. Are they ready to talk? Has their anger consumed them so much that they are blinded? If the anger is fresh, the person may say things they don’t really mean. But, if the anger is tossed aside for too long, if can just become a “norm” in that particular relationship…and will take much more work to fix…or in extreme cases, end the friendship/relationship.
If wrongs were done on both sides…it gets more complicated. You make a mental scoreboard in your head.
“So-and-so did this…so i had to do this….I know what I did was wrong. But, that person also said this and did this.”
And then there is anger by association:
“So-and-so is mad at this person. I am mad at that person now too. Because so-and-so is my friend. I have no part in their situation, but I feel I should be angry too. This has nothing to do with me, but I don’t care…I’m mad.”
Stupid…but it happens.
I know what you are thinking.
“Dan, I know all this stuff. I probably experienced this stuff also. Why are writing all this? Did something happen? Is someone mad at you, bro?”
And I would say…
“I know…I’m venting. But, yes someone is mad at me. And you are very kind to notice…you know me so well.
Last week, I was given an opportunity to try an fix anger. Anger that had festered for years, 15 years to be exact. And it was a complicated type of anger. All that stuff about the different kinds of anger I wrote about earlier? Yeah, that was involved in this complicated situation. Them wronging me…I wronging them…and anger by association.(I have no idea if “wronging” is a real word, but it just made sense to me.)
I know what you are thinking.
“Whoa…you said ‘them.’ There’s more than one person? What did you do to make a gaggle of people…a plethora of people…a heap of people…mad at you, bro?”
And I would say…
“Look it’s a long story…and it takes 15 years to explain. And we really don’t have time to go over that…isn’t Christmas like 11 days away? Shouldn’t we be more worried about that? And all the people who you still have to buy presents for?”
And you would say.
“Fine…don’t tell me. And thanks for reminding me that I am not ready for Christmas…thanks a lot Dan.
And I would say.
“Great..now you are mad at me too. I’m sorry.”
Like I said, I was given an opportunity. I was nervous because I didn’t know how “them” would react to me. But, I had to do something. If they were not going to give me peace…at least, I would know I tried..and that would give me peace.
The day came and I saw “them.” And I could see the anger was still in their hearts. But, I wasn’t going to give up. I never knew when I would ever see “them” again, so I had to approach them. Just to show a sign of peace. I didn’t know what to expect, but at least they would know that I was thinking of them.
And “them” did not make it easy. We caught eye contact…and the anger was there. They stood there…and I couldn’t approach them all at the same time. I had to come up with a gameplan, to try to get them one by one. They were united in their anger…and that would definitely overwhelm me. Time passed, and “them” separated.
I saw one by himself. I made my move…I walked towards him…and tried to make it un-obvious(is that even a word?) He saw me walking towards his direction…and slowly turned his back away from me to block me. It was deliberate. But, I simply walked around him…and extended my hand.
“Hey ___, it’s good to see you man.”
He extended his hand…and didn’t say much in return…he shook my hand but his face remained the same.
I walked away. And saw another opportunity with another of “them.”
And the same exact thing happened. This person turned their back away from me…I walked around them…and extended my hand. And they reacted the same.
Two down, one more to go. I knew this one would be tough. Because this person was glaring at me. As if to warn me…”don’t do it…don’t even try.”
And i didn’t. Fate didn’t give me that opportunity. I just felt, it wasn’t time.
You’re probably thinking:
“What? You gave up? What if you never get another opportunity like that?”
And I would say:
“He looked crazy mad still. And two out of three isn’t bad? That’s like 66% right? That’s a good solid ‘D’ on a report card. Ok, having a good solid ‘D’ is still not good. But, before this, it was a 0%”
But, I don’t think it’s over. Fate will happen again…and maybe it will be time then. Maybe one day, he will wake up and get ready for his day. He will pick out an outfit for the day and go through his sock drawer and say this:
“Man, I gotta do laundry…running out of clean socks. All I have left are all the socks with holes in it. Come to think about it, most of my socks are starting to have holes in it…how is this happening?”
He’ll go to work…and sit at his computer. He’ll check his regular social media sites…send some random text messages to his friends…and notice his shoes are untied. He will reach down and tie his shoes..and notice the socks he had to wear today…the ones with holes in them…and he will think:
“Socks…why are my socks starting to have holes in them? I’ll just google it…’holes…in…my…socks…why?'”
And as he scrolls down the possible topics…this might appear.
“Oh, hmm…a whole blog dedicated to this mystery…I should check it out…this guy might be going through this holes in my socks calamity also.”
And then, he finds out that it’s not about socks. And something on this site catches his eyes. A blog entry about anger.
Hey, it could happen.