Anger 101

While many worse places exist, there's still much not to like about Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp. There's the constant "fake truth" of the staff who simply lie for no reason. Examples are so rampant, I hardly know where to start. A recent one is the fabricated story about a small, female, one-eyed, stray dog who showed up here and found heaven. One of the staff took her to the "vet" who found a "chip" in her ear and contacted her "owner." I was born at night, but not last night; and there's no chance that dog had anything but a tick in her ear. Why not at least think of a better lie? Then there's one of our recent camp arrivals from a low security facility whom I get to listen to. I set the timer on my watch and counted him use the N word 14 times in 30 seconds. How's that possible?

Sometimes I feel like I'm on my last nerve. Even though I know suffering is just part of life and often self inflicted, I still don't handle it well. Sometimes I project my anger and attack the cause of my pain which only makes the condition worse. I want to make it better now, but that can lead to aggression. Passively, I can play the victim, but that's simply another way to blame someone else. Both these responses are nothing more than maladapted reactions to my perceived irritations.

Is anger ever an appropriate response to suffering and injustice, or does it just cause more conflict? Anger is energy and when used to serve my ego inevitably becomes aggression or victimization. But the pure energy of anger has insight and power that can be focused, accurate and penetrating.

What I need is the courage to embrace and to rest in the full intensity of that energy inside me without suppressing it or releasing it on others. I have to be present with my anger, embrace it, and process it. Only then can its enlightened energy become the wisdom of clarity. That's really hard for me but worth the effort.