Anger, rage and lust
Anger, rage and lust seem to be made up of fire, or at least that is how I look at it. I think of myself as being a person full of fire, jagged edges and inner conflict. Red is my least favorite color because of my identifying with these often disturbing emotions and yes desires. For revenge at times, for sex, often, and for just a reason to let lose and throw things. Funny my favorite color seems to be burgundy, which is a shade of red. In my life experience of my inner world, I know that I am not unique; it is I believe for most, a common experience of their humanity.
I always thought that when I got older (I am now 63), this inner landscape would somehow change, but it is pretty much the same. I still feel like a young man when I have to go through some inner tumult, though my relationship with this is different and I would say calmer, than when I was in my youth. I no longer fight myself, nor do I give in. I have learned to embrace all aspects of myself (though more successful at some times, less at others), learning to listen and love my more primitive (?) side. I do think that some people are more primitive than others, and I consider myself very primitive. Perhaps more men feel this than women, I don’t know. I am a low brow in music that is for sure, I still love heavy metal, but can’t get into death metal at all. Don’t know how to listen to it; besides it is the bass that I like, it seems to relax and allows my energy to flow more gently. Though as I get older, I do need less of that and am gravitating towards more gentle music. Even classical to my surprise and joy, I seem to know how to listen to this kind of music now…..so when driving I can listen to classical without going to sleep. It helps my soul to soar, though I often don’t want to listen to it or to anything else. I am starting to enjoy silence more when I drive.
I know that I have lots of inner caverns of emotions that I hardly feel at all, though over the years I seem to get a glimpse of what they are. I suppose it is because of those inner openings, that continue to crack open by bits and pieces, is the reason that I am still alive. Just a drop of some inner tender emotion, seems to be healing and even lessens over time the inner fire storms that I seem to be so often in. It is like a dragon seeking to rip out of my inner psyche and I believe the only reason I have not let it rip in my 63 years of life, nor have I repressed it, is because of my relationship with God. In my own inner world, that can often be hell like and painful, I am not alone but a loving presence is there leading me slowly on, ever growing in trust and hope that one day I will experience peace, love, tenderness and yes even tears. Tears for me are as rare as rain in the ‘Death Valley Desert’. I wish it were otherwise, but it isn’t. Again, I know that I am not unusual in this, and both men and women have to bear with this, perhaps the majority of us.
I look upon this as my spiritual path, my way to growth, my path up the mountain, or inward, depending on how you want to look at it. My trust in a love beyond me has slowly allowed the pieces to come together, or better to say, they are continuing to come together. I have written about experience of my inner world, as marbles scattered over a very large floor, but because of Love’s presence in my soul, these divergent piece are slowly coming back together and healing, although slow, is continuing.
It is when I grow in the understanding of how un-unique I am in this, that I have slowly learned to have compassion and empathy for others, though I still have to work at it, in other words I have to hit my rather hard heart or jump start it to allow the living waters of love to flow. I am often crushed by my humanity, but it is God love that allows me to rise up. I believe the only reason I did not become an addict, which I now believe I could easily have become, is because either by grace, or luck, I choose grace, my relationship with God, has touched me deeper than all the alcohol or sex could do. Believe me, in the Navy I did lots of things to get away from my inner fragmentation and existential angst. I drank a lot and fooled around and partied with the best of them. Yet, there were times when I was touched deeper and withdrew for a time from that life. Then it seemed to become permanent. So yes, grace is slow in its works, but that is because I fight it, yet God’s love seems to always pursue me. That is why I can’t be an atheist, even with all of my doubts. All I have to do is look within, see the chaos and ruin, and also the working of grace that seems to work with me unawares. I am becoming the man I never thought I would become, and for that I am thankful to God’s love and grace in my heart. Yes I still struggle with anger, rage and lust, yet at the same time, tenderness and yes seldom, but it is happening, I experience tears, which are very healing, even if it only a few drops that drop in my inner “Death Valley Desert’.. Jesus was in the desert, so he is with us in ours.