Some bad things have happened in my community the past few weeks. And by community, I mean where I live and work and play, as well as all the social media that go along with it. And I began to reflect on what it is that causes people to treat other people in a particular way. And because I felt angry, I began to examine the root of my anger, the root of the anger of others, and by extension, the motivation for anger.
We have so many stereotypes of anger: the angry black woman, the Henry Rollins punk anger, the violent sex offender anger, the residual victim anger, the survivor anger, the cutter self-directed anger--as many, and more, flavors as Baskin Robbins.
And we use our vaious angers in different manners: to clean house (I will stay up ALL night scrubbing the grout with a toothbrush in order not to explode and show my anger to others!), to slam at poetry festivals (not me!), as activists, and for art. Anger moves us through life when channelled. And so we hang on to it.
Anger also has that destructive yang, that vengeful tang. And this is the anger for which I am grateful that I have discovered an antidote. I am grateful today to have learned that to forgive does not mean to not face evil. I am grateful to have learned that to forgive transforms that destructive anger into useful anger--the anger that gets my butt into the gym.
I am grateful for the breath that I have in me. I am grateful for the gift that "those experiences" gave me--for because of "those experiences" I have learned.