Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lessons from anger (an inspired message)

Alright.  This is where things get weird.  I will warn you that I do have some trepidation about writing this blog, but my enthusiasm is over-riding it.  Allow me to explain:

One of the things that I have experienced throughout my life, but especially in the last couple of years, are writings (sometimes poetry, sometimes simply messages) that come "through" me very quickly, in the space of minutes, with little or no conscious editing.  For this reason, I call tend to refer to these works as "channeled", all whether that is literally true, I cannot say for certain.  (Feel free, if it seems more comfortable, to call these messages "inspired" rather than "channeled".  That would be fine with me.) Nonetheless, I am choosing to share a channeled/inspired message that came "through" me just in the last hour.  I am sharing it because I feel it is so relevant to my life and what I am currently experiencing, and if I am finding it helpful, then perhaps you will, too.

To first give a little context: I have been feeling discouraged, and sometimes angry or frustrated, over the last few days, at my perceived inability to focus on goals that I need or want to accomplish.  This appears to be accompanied by an abundant willingness to focus on other people's goals, or to avoid goals all together and just spend time with other people.  So, I found myself, this morning, having "accomplished" nothing before noon, except for my basic morning routine (showering, eating breakfast), which happened late in the morning, and chatting with/helping others (one person in particular, whom I am quite close to).  At 11:20 or so, after over an hour, I cut myself off from this person (finally), in order to focus on my own tasks--e.g., my delayed morning routine and preparing to teach at noon.  I felt a large amount of annoyance that I had "wasted" my time "helping" this other person, and a large amount of self-anger (disgust would perhaps be a better word) at all that I had not accomplished.

When my noon student canceled (due to circumstances beyond his control), I felt compelled to sit down, to settle, and focus inwardly for a bit.  (One could loosely call this meditation.) As I could sit feel the remnants of anger and un-settledness in my body, I called to mind a particular figure that I thought might help to bring illumination, whom I have evoked before: Medicine Buddha.  (Medicine Buddha is associated with the transformation of negative emotional states, amongst other things.) And then, grabbing a notebook and a pen, I wrote down this question:

What is the lesson in this?

This answer arose in my head, and I wrote it down:
The goal is to learn patience with all states of mind, to understand that all states are created equal.  Each has it's place, and each holds it's particular quality of illumination.

 Thinking that that was an interesting answer, I wrote down this followup question:
So, what, then, is  the goal of my anger?

And, in response, a lot more came forth, namely:
"The goal of anger is to clarify what is important, and when priorities have been misplaced.  Particularly, it illuminates when one has placed faith in another as opposed to holding that faith within themselves.  

Often, we expect others to do for us what we are not willing to do for ourselves.  Or, we expect others to validate and praise us when we sacrifice ourselves on their behalf.  These are examples of expectations that have been misplaced.

When anger arises, you can notice the feeling quality that it brings up in your body.  Where are you holding tension? Where are you trying to force a result? Be willing to see these things clearly.

But then, and always, come back to love.  Begin with self-love.  Where is it that you have turned your back on yourself? Where is it that you have denied yourself, thinking that investing in another would bring you the confidence that you need? 

Do not be afraid.  The answers to these questions ARE NOT a reflection of your self-worth, for you are already whole and perfect in God's eyes.  The answers to these questions are merely a source of illumination, given to you that you might come back to a conscious alignment with validation of self.

Remember that anger has given you this gift of awareness, and once you accept it, you will find yourself angry no longer.  Residing now in love, you may bring yourself back into alignment with the goals that will support your highest need and God's divine order.

Blessings to you always on your path,
Medicine Buddha and 
Gabriel (God's messenger)

I will say that I am not quite sure how Gabriel crept in there (as I did not consciously call on him) but his name popped up for me, and I do feel like he (or she--Gabriel's gender is debated) had some association with this message.

So. . . I still feel kind of wacky after typing up this message (What will people think of me?), but I am taking the risk to record this, because it feels so personally relevant, and maybe will speak to you in some way (regardless of whether you "agree" with the idea of channeling).  And, now that I feel more calm and complete within myself, now that I have engaged in some so needed and personally relevant, I feel that I am ready to turn my attention to other matters.

I welcome your comments, and send you blessings on your path! Here's wishing you, and all, a beautiful and heart-filled day.   


  1. Do this.

    It's not weird. It's what good writers and memoirists do.

  2. Thank you, Jon. You're awesome. :-)

  3. IMHO the only "good" anger is the kind that motivates's directed AT us, BY us...otherwise I think anger can be for writing...I believe that (as in ANY form of Artistic expression) it DOES come from somewhere else...for example, last night *I* made a conscious decision to write a BLOOZE tune...I was in a bar (at a Blues Jam) and somehow I was able to 1) FOCUS and 2) open myself up enuff to "recieve the transmission" from wherever "it" comes was done in about hour...Lastly, I nearly did a Snoopy Dance just because I changed the strings on my are not alone...

  4. It's funny, but I have been struggling with anger today, wondering why it was present, and what to do with it...I let it frustrate me. Think I need to reread your entry again later on, and break it down in smaller pieces to digest it better...

  5. Thanks for your thoughts, Scott. It is fascinating how different sources of inspiration, can come "through" us, huh?--as in the example that you give with your music. (That's the main reason why I'm a musician!)

    Mom, glad it spoke to you. We all deal with anger, certainly. And it's so strong--affects us so forcefully--that it is interesting to contemplate what it's message is for us, huh?

  6. Buddha taught all suffering including anger, stems from attachment. When I'm attached to my own expectations of reality, instead of being grounded in mindfulness, I get angry and suffer. When I'm mindful, I'm able to spontaneously balance being present, with creating healthy boundaries.

    I'm curious what being able to go with the flow or sticking to the plan, will bring you? I believe they're both valid strategies designed to meet deeper core values. What is that deeper core value or highest need?

  7. Thanks for your thoughts, Malcolm. I agree that the concept of attachment fits in here--attachment both to other people's interactions with me (Are they validating me? Supporting me? Leaching my resources?) and to my own internal "scorecard" (How am I doing?).

    In terms of going with the flow versus sticking with the plan (judging vs. perceiving functions?), I guess there's a matter of discernment there, huh? Being able to discern what really is most important in terms of supporting one's growth. Sometimes one, sometimes the other. A tricky negotiation for the mind. It requires prajna (discriminating awareness), to use a Buddhist term.

    So, what is the deeper core value? Hmmm...I think that has to do with the desire to more fully grow in terms of love and awareness, as best as I can discern. To self actuate.

    Thanks for prompting these thought-explorations (and for bringing in the Buddhist perspective, which I've personally explored quite a bit over the last 7 years or so), Malcolm. Love and blessings to you!