Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Daily Reminder # 26 meets Ruby Tuesday

Well, it's Ruby Tuesday and I decided to go with all cardinals. The back yard has been very quiet lately so these are a couple of years old. I'm pretty depressed about the back yard situation. No bees, no dandylions because there are no bees. No hummingbirds because there are no flowers because the weather has been so weird and the quince bloomed and went to Fall almost overnight.

But anyway, since it's Ruby Tuesday (hosted by Mary/The Teach at Work of the Poet), I thought I'd make today's Daily Reminder be about "seeing red."

Too many of us are taught that anger is a bad thing. There are two problems with this. First off, it isn't true. Feelings of anger may not be as pleasant as feelings of joy but they are just feelings, natural, healthy feelings. Sometimes there are good reasons to be pissed off. I was really pissed off that my parents allowed my brother to abuse me emotionally and otherwise. Of course I swallowed that anger for almost 60 years because nice girls don't have mean feelings like that. Now that I've owned them, I'm free of them... pretty much, anyway.

I'm pissed off that British Petroleum has defiled the Gulf of Mexico because they were lazy, greedy and inept. I'm pissed off that anybody listens to a word Sarah Palin says. I'm pissed off that she lies and the media morons just nod like zombies. It's ok for me to be annoyed by those things. What's wouldn't be good would be to let myself stew in those feelings. But anger is just a feeling. A normal, healthy response to stimuli. Like laughter.

One of the worst things about the lies regarding the feeling of anger is the idea that if we feel angry there has to be a good guy and a bad guy. That's not true. You can be hurt by someone (and therefore angry) without them being a villain. If the person next to you on the bus steps on your toe and it hurts, you may feel peeved. It hurts, of course you do. Doesn't mean he or she is a bad person. If your friend or co-worker says something that taps into one of your wounds, you have a right to feel hurt and angry. Doesn't mean they are bad. But because we are taught that anger is bad - we are prone to get stuck into the blame game. We're not supposed to have these feelings. Someone or something has caused them in us. Therefore... if we are not to feel guilty for the sin of having this feeling, it must be their fault. And the need to blame the other person more often than not traps us on a treadmill of accusation and blame and more anger because blame makes the other person angry and they they want to blame us and so on and so on....

What's truly sad about his is that either of the responses most of us are raised to use for coping with anger is profoundly destructive. Either we swallow it (as I was forced to do to survive in my family) or we get stuck in the struggle to appease our guilt at having what is really a normal human emotional response by putting it onto the other person. But it's OUR feeling and no amount of blame or recrimination will change that so it becomes this awful monster that we drag along with us. And sometimes - those of us who are really uncomfortable with anger - do a hideous blend of swallowing our anger, puking it up, blaming the other person, trying to swallow it again... Anyway. It's ugly.

Well, this is getting long, so let me end with this thought. Make yourself a new Cardinal Rule (don't you love a good pun) for life. Anger is a feeling not a sin. Let it move through you like you let laughter move through you. Then your heart and Spirit can fly free.

Some things I'm grateful for today:

  • cardinals
  • anger
  • laughter
  • tears
  • the color red
  • the capacity to change


Carletta said...

Hi Raven,
Love how you tied all this end - especially the 'cardinal rule'!

One thing that has always bothered me with the tying in of red to anger is people assuming that because I have red hair I have a fiery temper. Actually, I'm quite the opposite. I'm shy for the most part and hold things inside. :)

Ma.links said...

Lovely bird. Great shots!

Hootin Anni said...

I do so love those cardinals!!!

My Ruby Tuesday is "Skipping Rocks" - a sculpture. Come by to view if you have time today.


reg said...

That Card is just great, very nice pics of him

Kim, USA said...

Yay cardinal that is pretty! Happy Tuesday!

RRT~Red Hollyhock

Felisol said...

Dear Raven,
Thanks for sharing such important and profound thoughts.
The cardinals are great too, and made me think of the cardinal sins.
Anger is one among them, but that is man made rules, not biblical.
I think Jesus said, "if you are angry; do not sin".
He himself used a whip to cleanse the Temple once. Guess if he wasn't angry?
We need to embrace our angry feelings without feeling guilt.
To suppress anger is keeping people captivated.
Nobody should allow that.
Thank you, once more for giving food for thoughts and soul.
From Felisol

eileeninmd said...

Love your cardinal rule and your cardinal photos. Have a great week!

Argent said...

This is a very thoughtful and thought-provoking post. I once heard that arthritis can be caused by feelings of bottled-up anger. All the more reason, then, to let it out and away from us.

Ralph said...

Mr. Cardinal is a beauty. looking for luscious seeds for his nutrition. The bird is lovely, a bold red just the right hue to attract the less seen females. Classy bird!

Dianne said...

I always think cardinals look like they have mohawks ;)

Annie Jeffries said...

Too true about not owning your anger. DH was taught to gunnysack his anger. Not good. It came popping out in the most unexpected ways and times. Fortunately, a good counselor helped him fix that. Me? I didn't KNOW I felt anger. I didn't recognise the feelings that stirred in me when I was feeling "oh whatever that was I was feeling". Fortunately, THAT changed too. I love feeling my anger. I revel in it sometimes. It's okay to feel negative about things and to object and, and, and . . .

Perhaps that is one reason why I like cardinals so much. They are the color of fire and buring life. You can't miss them. Of course, we also don't have them where I live. No doubt another contributing factor. LOL

Unknown said...

we can find many beautiful things around us (such as your photos)...to melt away those anger. have a lovely day. btw, sarah palin who? haha

Anonymous said...

You've done a great job here!

maryt/theteach said...

I agree with you about anger, Raven. Maybe I should start listing the things I'm grateful for... First, I'm grateful for you posting for Ruby Tuesday and touching base with me again.! :)