Sunday, February 15, 2004

I had the chance to work on not responding out of anger in the past few days. One of the things that I fear in relationships is anger. Anger from the other person because they may want to the end the relationship; anger from myself because I don’t know how to see clearly through it. I tend respond out of hurt feelings and out of distrust when I’m angry. I can have pretend conversations and in them the other person always says or thinks the wrong thing, does something else that makes me angry, or just doesn’t understand me (which is generally how it goes and sometimes the worst of all). This all comes from fear that the other person will rescind their love for me, will be demeaning or belittling, or will think less of me. I don’t trust that the bond is strong enough to see through the hurt feelings or miscommunication. Or, I do trust that logically, but I’m just not accustomed to working through that sort of thing, trivial as the particular situation may be. I think what it really boils down to is that I’m afraid that in anger, there will no longer be love.

This time, I sat with my hurt feelings, not really angry, but what I’d call frustrated/upset/not quite angry and waited. I waited to feel not so pressed to have it all right then. I waited to test myself to see that I could handle a small that thing that was. I didn’t want to respond out of anger or hurt, and I didn’t want to make anything bigger or worse than it had to be. In the end, it was a small matter that we were able to talk (e-mail, really) through and understand each other and understand how and why the other felt hurt. That was really quite step for me. I sat with feeling hurt and feeling badly, trusting that it could and would be handled. I trusted that it would be fine, more than fine. And it was. I’m lucky that I was heard and understood and I hope I did the same in return. That is a lesson I need to learn. That I can be heard and understood and that anger doesn’t mean any catastrophic will happen.

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