I could feel it stirring in me as I walked purposefully across the gravel driveway. As I stood listening to the story of how my tools had come to be loaned out, I felt it thickening in my veins. As I heard the story of my lost tools, irretrievable for a day or two more, I felt the familiar buzz in my head. I was in a rage, so angry I had to walk away.
I know that walking away is the kindest thing I can do when I'm angry. Instead of making the situation unbearable, I went to yoga, took a bike ride, went to a book store. I let myself air out, and within the spaces of breath that I took, I knew I wasn't mad about the tools. I was mad about all the other things.
I was mad for every time someone didn't respect my boundaries, mad for every time someone didn't consider my feelings. I was mad for every time someone treated me as if I was unimportant. All those instances had come flooding back to me in that unfortunate moment, so I did the only thing I could do: I showed myself mercy. I showed myself compassion. I took myself out of the situation and put myself at the center of my universe, and soon enough, my veins, blood and bones felt right. My head was blooming. My heart, calm and even.
I grew up in a house of rage, and I learned that skill set well. I learned the explosive-out-of-nowhere anger. I learned the boiling-brimming-over anger. I learned that to walk on egg shells would never be enough to avoid the anger I didn't deserve. I learned the wrong lesson, and over time, I have had to teach myself the right one.
I have lost too much to my rage. Too many loved ones, too many opportunities.
When I returned I told the man who had lent out my tools that he had hurt my feelings. That I held our relationship in a special place of conscious collaboration, and when he did things like this, it felt painful. I told him I loved him and that his friendship was much more important to me than tools, but that my boundaries were more important than to allow this. I calmly told him to never do this again. He apologized and thanked me.
I walked away in pride and love and a belief that at least this time, I had done right by myself. At least this time, I hadn't fractured a relationship beyond repair. At least this time, I gave myself the room I needed to take care of the most important thing, my heart, and come out the other side with a much better lesson.
I desperately, quietly hope that next time, I am wise enough to do it again. That I can slow down and step back far enough to see that it is not this moment that has created my rage, but every other moment I suffered in silence. I hope to remember that it is not the person in front of me who has deeply fractured my faith in humanity, but the people who, over time crossed boundaries when I was too small and too naive to understand how to protect them.
I want to remember, most of all, that I have to forgive myself for wanting love so badly that I would sacrifice my boundaries, my safety, and my heart to receive it. I have to have compassion for the woman who gave up the wrong things in lieu of the promise of a love that might finally heal. I must love myself enough to not sacrifice any part of me in order to earn the love of another, because it is hard to really appreciate a love for which I have given up so much to receive.
Happy Father's Day! Thanks for following me over here to my Artist's website, and thanks for the support over the years that I have been writing. I know it has been a winding road, but learning for me has never occurred in a straight line, and that is why I write, to learn more about myself in the writing than I knew before I started.
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