If you follow my blog, my recent post, Cliff Jumping may have seemed to contradict what I said in Heads I Lose, Tails You Win, in regards to my stated desires of pruning judgmental personages from my life and then turning around and admitting that I often try to explain myself to the satisfaction of others.
I’m an A1 Devil’s Advocate – take any side of an issue and I’ll take the other, just to see where this mental game leads us. I do so with myself and if you approach me with an idea, followed by anything other than an absolute statement of, “I’m doing this, ain’t no one stopping me and I don’t care what the neighbors think”, I’ll be happy to play the part for you, too.
Play to your strengths, is my motto and taking the opposite side to help you make a decision is one I think I’m good at.
I never ask anyone’s opinion if I already know I’m going forth and doing no matter what they say anyways – why waste their time? And isn’t it insulting to ask someone their opinion when you know if it doesn’t correspond exactly with yours, you’re going to ignore it anyways?
So I foolishly think if someone asks what I think of planned action, they are searching for more perspectives or information before making their final decision – and I’m happy to delve into every perspective I can think of, especially the ones I don’t like – – those are where our comfort zones and ignorance butt up against an opportunity to expand our horizons – so I spend time in territories I don’t always like, just to make sure I haven’t missed a gem of opportunity.
Hence, I have the reputation of picking fights….
Yes – it surprised me, too.
I’ve learned from my own experience there is always another story that would serve me better than the one I’m currently telling. Sometimes I’m ready for an upgrade and sometimes, I just need the time and space to wallow in my current one – – I don’t want to miss any jewels by racing through a less-than-pleasant chapter.
Here lately, I’ve been playing Devil’s Advocate regarding the work I’ve been doing with the Anger portion of my grieving journey. For now, my story is still, “Anger is sometimes what keeps me from laying down and giving up – – from giving way to Apathy. So for now, Anger is the healthiest choice for me.”
I’m playing Devil’s Advocate for myself because there is not much support in our current culture for Anger. I believe it to be one of our greatest survival instincts, but the reality I live in supports everything it can to suppress, ignore or medicate the emotion away.
There’s an insidious myth that slinks around the “Self-Help” world that if only you can become enlightened enough, you won’t ever experience anger – because you will see the perfection in everything and hence, no reason to be angry.
I call it a myth, because I believe that to be dangerous thinking – it leads to apathy and non-compassionate behavior regarding broken systems we’ve built, are maintaining to the great detriment of many and need to change, but instead choose to blame the Universe for.
You’re free to check back in a year or two to see if I’ve changed my tune.
As for Anger – I’m not talking about the irritations that occur over daily things – like running late, traffic jams, spilled coffee and crying children in the movie theatre – that moment in time where you say, “WTF?!?” and then move on, with little or no residuals.
What I am talking about is the Anger that comes from deep within – the messenger that says, “This isn’t good for you – – this must change or you must leave. You are about to be destroyed – let me help save you.”
That kind of anger sometimes comes from single moment in time – one event that kicks all your survival responses into immediate overdrive.
More often, it comes after years of placing ourselves in unhealthy lifestyles, jobs and relationships. It creeps up, trying to protect us, trying to pull us away from the lion’s den – steadily compiling a little more strength each time we suppress it, vowing that next time, it will be heard and acknowledged.
Until the day we realize we are angry all the time -that spilled coffee and losing a loved one get the same explosive blast of Anger.
At that point, we must choose between being Anger incarnate or heed its’ advice.
I’m not done with Anger, quite yet. I’m still learning. Now that I’m listening – Anger, like Grief, is nicer about the times and places he chooses to show up – – we spend less time blowing our top in public places and more in conversation while I sit in the comfort of my own home with no one around to be hurt by the resulting shedding process.
I’ve also found those who have had their own walk with Anger and now they sometimes hold my hand and offer their perspective when Anger shared some pearl of wisdom with me I don’t quite get.
They play Devil’s Advocate for me, because they know that’s what I’m asking for.
Soon, I’m hoping Grief and Anger are satisfied I’ve gotten the main points I needed to. I live for the day they will take a vacation, because they trust me not to burn down the house while they’re gone.
They’ll leave emergency funds on the counter and say it’s okay to have a few friends over – – they’re proud of me and they can trust me.
I’m going to call Joy, Faith and Hope first – – they’re always a fun crew to hang with…