Of course, this feeling was not a positive one and would normally cloud over the experience of the rest of my day. As much as I would try to push it down, it would keep coming up vengefully until I finally succumbed to it and let it drain my energy completely.
Even worse, during this period of inner rebellion, I would completely transform into someone else. I would act in an aggressive uncaring way, would get irritated with everything and everyone around me, and would essentially turn into Mister Jekyll’s alter ego, Hyde, seeking to destroy everything on my path. I would lose all the good sides of me, all my reminders of goodness and kindness and compassion would evaporate and it almost felt as if I would become a completely different person.
Needless to say, I said many hurtful things during those times, and luckily enough, those who love me and understand me well endured it, learnt to let it go, gave me space to vent even. A friend of mine even said to me that I become like a child in a china shop, or a little puppy barking angrily because it lost its bone. Both metaphors indicated that this angry person was not me, just a childish version of a rebellious child stamping its foot on the ground.
However, even if others accepted this trait of mine and chose to look beyond, I became my own worst critic. After the event when I would finally calm down, I would be ridden with guilt and disbelief of my own cruelty and violence, to myself and to others. Above all, I would realize my over reaction was completely uncalled for, and that the issue at hand was a mere narrative, completely made up in my own psyche. I would understand that my anger was overblown and that the blind rage I experienced was nowhere close to what the real situation actually was.
Recently though, I have been able to digest unpleasant news in a much more measured way. The instant riling up of anger and contractions does not occur anymore. I am able to hear myself listening to the negative thoughts, and while I cannot say that it doesn’t play a few times in my mind, I do not allow it to grow in intensity and mass by fueling it up. I listen to them, let them dance around in my mind for a while, see the puppy version compelling me to over react and calm the puppy down. My mind still draws conclusions which are mostly incorrect, however I can now rest with it – I now understand that my conclusions are probably incorrect. I accept that my mind is incorrect, instead of fueling my own opinions.
Moments of dark rage are less and less as I visualize myself acting like a barking puppy – this automatically tempers me down. My inner organs don’t feel like they’re on fire anymore, and this is an amazing welcome surprise. The last two days I had a few experiences where I was able to observe the own reactions and it is with great relief that I can see myself progressing into a more mindful state of being. And on that note, I become even more convinced that spiritual grounding, willpower and inherent goodness are the tools to help us move forward.
Written by Nasseema Taleb