The anger rolls through me like waves breaking upon a shore.
It is not the overwhelming anger I sometimes felt when I wore the proverbial younger man’s clothes because I am in complete control of it.
But there is a part of me that is tired of holding back and tamping it down. A part that wants to take the gloves off and let my tongue and fists do what is required to take the edge off…a bit.
I don’t have to look very far inside my head to see the things that upset me and to recognize the intersection of angry man and angry father.
Today I am both and I will be both again tomorrow.
This mix of rage and fury is fueled by a feeling of powerlessness intermixed with injustice.
It is powered by a sense that I could and should be doing more but am not because theÂ smarter moveÂ is to hold back.
But theÂ interestingÂ thing about it all is that I am not convinced that holding back is the smarter move. I am not sure if letting go would serve me and that teen better.
The thing is there is no testing ground or way to conduct any R&D here. No way to find out what would happen if I just let go so I am forced to hold back and hope that this is the smarter move.
Forced to suck it up and swallow it back.
I instruct the kids to use experience when they are uncertain to help guide their decision making.
Experience has taught me that I am very good at letting my anger wreak havoc on the world around me and that the mess that is left isn’t always pretty.
It has also taught me that the acid old Sam Clemens is talking about is real. I have felt the physical and emotional burn of holding onto anger.
Bottled up and unserved it does little to help and much to hurt.
That is also why I have taught the kids to try and take a deep breath before they talk. To breathe and think before they speak.
Anger isn’t always the best filter through which to look at the world.
An Angry Man Meets An Angry Father
Today I witnessed some bad behavior and was reminded yet again about how nasty some people can be.
And in the midst of it I recognized my desire to run amok and to fan some of the flames, to motivate people to fight.
Part of me wanted it because if I instigated it would give me a chance to unleash and unload.
But it wouldn’t help the angry father feel better and though it would make the angry man a bit less edgy it wouldn’t fix things there either.
I would still be pissed off and disappointed about having been let down.
The angry father is upset because he/I feel powerless. I can’t do any more than I have done to help improve certain things.
I can’t make someone do things they aren’t ready or willing to do and so I have to wait, watch and hope.
It is not easy for me to not try to use all that I am capable of to more, to influence and push for a better outcome.
So now I watch and wait knowing that sometimes heroes fail and fall.
The angry man takes a different tack.
He sets sail into the wild and recognizes he is paddling upstream and against the wind but here it is a test of will and faith.
The fury comes from feeling betrayed by those whom he never expected to do so and from falling short of his own expectations.
But the good news, the best news is that nothing lasts forever and this too shall pass.
This too shall move and we’ll find ourselves smiling for no reason other than because we can.