I once heard a lyric that rang so true it reverberated through my very bones...
"Anger is just love left out too long and turned to vinegar."
And I knew it was true.
And this sentiment seems paradoxical because how can anger be love? How can the insane acts of violence that are committed in this world ever be called love? Or have their roots in love? But really, how can they have their roots anywhere else?
A jilted lover, a broken child, a jealous spouse, an irate parent... These nuances of emotion are all based in fear. Fear is the other end of love. We may think hate opposes love but hate's real name is Fear. Fear comes in many forms, but when broken down usually is either fear that we will lose what we love, fear that we are not loved, fear that we are not enough, fear that we will not get what we want, fear that we will be hurt, or those we love will be hurt.. Fear ignites in us a certain response... It puts us into survival mode. We fight. Or we run. Or we freeze. The adrenaline courses through our veins and we feel we could take on anything. We are ready to fight for our lives, or run from the sabre toothed tiger, or freeze and play dead as is the way of creatures such as Opossum.
Yet in our day and age, tigers are few and far between, and most of the things that threaten us are not physical.. They are emotional, mental, even technological, or at least they start that way. And we are taught to sit still and be Fine, and that fear is not manly, or womanly for that matter, and so without us knowing it, what began as love, and then transmuted to fear begins to fester. And it festers and it ferments and then one day, it boils over and out and the anger comes. We don't remember where it started. Maybe it comes out at a driver who pulls out in front of us, or at our children, or our lovers, or ourselves. Maybe it scares us the first few times. Maybe we enjoy it.. The power of it. The rawness of it. The reality of it. The action of it. Maybe we like the feeling of adrenaline coursing through our veins. Maybe we like feeling out of control, or maybe it's the only time we feel in control, like we have any power to do anything in this world.
But then there is the aftermath. The crying kids, the beaten wives, the bleeding bodies, the lifeless corpses... And we look around and we wonder what happened. What happened between love and this? How did we get to this? But no-one tells us what to do with the anger, let alone with the aftermath of it's impact. And as we look around at the emotional desolation, or the physical devastation we may have caused, we retreat further inside, or further out, and the fear grows again because we scare ourselves. And then fear does what it does when left to it's own devices... It grows... And it festers... And it ferments.. And then once again Boom! The anger arises. And again. And again. And again.
You see fear powers a delusion... Some lie we tell ourselves, believing it to be truth.. That we are not enough.. That we are going to lose something.. That we will not get something... That they do not love us... And that delusion powers a feeling... Maybe we get impatient of waiting for the thing to come or not come... Maybe we get intolerant.. Maybe we get inconsiderate of others because we are scared we will not get what we want.. Maybe we get jealous or judgemental... And then maybe we act on it. We get angry and we lash out at ourselves or others, unaware that this came from a feeling grown from a lie based in fear, because you see we ARE enough.
As we are.
And maybe if we put more time into loving ourselves, and tending to the scared parts of ourselves... Maybe if we put more energy into naming the fears, and knowing them, and recognising them, then we wouldn't get vinegar. Maybe instead we would grow sweetness and life and light. Fermentation requires darkness and closed containers.
What if we opened up?
What if we brought light and space and love to the fears?
What if we changed the conditions?
What if we did not allow the anger to ever have the chance to grow?
What if instead we stepped out in the arena and said "Yes, I am scared and I don't know what to do."
What if we gave someone else the opportunity to say "Me too. And it's OK. We can face this together."
We love cheering the underdog... Celebrating and applauding the courage of the ones who show their vulnerability.. Who despite all the odds stacked against them Stand and say "I am here."
What if we became that hero for ourselves, or rather recognised that IS us, every day?
What if we learned to be with the fear long enough to know it once more as love?
What if we admitted love can feel like the most terrifying thing in the world because it lays us bare and that we often have not been taught that actually laid bare and vulnerable is the most powerful we will ever be?
What is we gave ourselves the chance to find out?
What if we called out the lies and brought it back to the truth that Love just Is.
It just Is.
What if we could remember that?
What if we could trust that?
What if we could say to ourselves, and to others:
I am here.
I see you.
I love you.
You are held.
You are safe.
You are enough.
Because you are....