Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Anger as Ink

What motivates us?

Compassion? Anger? Hate? Love?

What makes us want to keeping pushing, struggling to accomplish what needs to be done?

Life sets up more than sufficient obstacles. Just the every day work of surviving holds us in place, keeps us from reaching out too far towards what we want.

Other people hold us back. Not only out of spite or their needs, but simply because we are tied to them through so many types of bonds. But those bonds hold us to them, and thus back from what we want to become.

We set obstacles for ourselves: inertia, apathy, fear - oh yes, fear. The fear of failing, the fear of being laughed at - even the fear of succeeding.  I want this. But what if I get it and I don't like it after all? Then what have I?

My biggest motivation seems to be anger. Initially at other people, then at the fool I am, but also at myself for believing I cannot do what I've set out to accomplish. For believing what others want me to believe rather than admitting, or even allowing hope of admitting what I know to be true about myself.

Anger is what forces me to realize that I am my own worst enemy. I cannot rest until I cause problems for myself, and then, when I've made enough of a mess, I can finally recognize it and start to clean it up.

The price is high. It is not a good way to accomplish your goals - alienating people, deliberately making problems for yourself. But if it increases the pressure enough that an explosion, however small, happens, then I suppose it's worth it. Anything to get out of despair and back into action.

Hopefully someday action will come without such finagling. Leaving a trail of self-destruction is not the best way to get out of a swamp and onto solid ground.

But to be angry at all is, for me, an amazing thing. It means I am finally learning that I don't have to bow my head and take blame for what others impose on me. I am not stuck. I can break out.

So anger becomes the ink to my pen. I can write, because I have to prove I am not incapable, not stupid, not such a fool as life, and the habits I've learned in life make me believe I am.

Having once done so, well, there's a whole world of new problems to face. But at least anger gives the energy to meet the challenge.

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