Wednesday, March 6, 2013

High Horses

Kentucky Horse Park - May 2012
Recently in the course of a conversation with a friend, we were discussing anger and I mentioned how much easier I find facing life's challenges since I've let go of anger. I went on to explain that it felt like letting go of anger invited opportunities to anger me into my life. In illustrating how I recently faced a moment of anger that lead to a moment of hate that inspired my blog post, Humbled by a Moment of Hate, I mentioned, in a very cliched moment, that the moment of hate "knocked me off my high horse" to which my friend interrupted with something along the lines of "So you know you get on your high horse." much to my surprise. But perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised. All I could think in the moment, though, was that we all have moments when we climb on our high horses...

Still, over the next week or so, my thoughts went back to the comment multiple times. To the point, I Googled the phrase just to verify it meant what I thought it meant. It does, essentially. And, here's the thing, I'm befuddled. I truly am. I don't see myself as morally superior to other people, but I began to wonder if other people think that's what I think.

I'm really not sure what to do with this criticism. In all fairness, my friend did seek to soften the blow by telling me the comment wasn't intended to be critical; however, I'm really not sure what else it could be.
Here's the thing, I'm very confident in my moral standards; however, I don't expect anyone else to live by my moral standards. I don't think I have all the answers or that people who live lives different from mine are any less moral than me. I seek to not judge others just as I hope others won't judge me.

I often write about, or otherwise share, what I've learned through my life experience, but I'm fully aware that I'm still learning and growing into my best self. I refuse to give up the confidence I've gained through my struggles with life and finding the balance between the life I live and the life I dream of living.

Many years ago, anger ruled my life. Anger was my go-to emotion. Righteous indignation was my best friend. When anger ruled, I found it easier to ignore what I really felt- disappointed, hurt, abandoned, vulnerable, etc. When I let go of anger, I had to dig deeper and feel what I really felt. It was hard work, and it felt like torture. Anger was easy by comparison. In anger, I could scream and yell whatever I wanted and be as irrational as I wanted to be. I could hold grudges and refuse to see anyone else's side of a situation. I could push people away and blame them for it. After all, when anger was my go-to emotion, I always had someone else to blame because it was always about whom or what made me angry, not about what role I played or what different choices I could've made.

Then one day I realized anger made me the victim. Anger took away my power. Anger left me at the mercy of others. That's when I decided to take control of my life. The first step was to admit that I played a leading role in my own life instead of a supporting role. I found that revelation quite empowering.

Immediately after I started trying to live from a place of anything other than anger, I felt like I was more angry than ever. It took me a while to realize that I kept attracting anger to me because it was what I was used to as well as because part of releasing anger was recognizing it when it arrived. Anger is a natural emotion and is even appropriate at times. When anger becomes a way of life, everything else gets snuffed out. Anger itself can become addictive. I soon discovered that when I look behind anger and find the truth of what I feel, I can move on more quickly, forgive more readily, and find solutions more easily.

As I let go of anger, I began to feel less negative about life. Positivity began to find its way into my life. I started to see possibilities and the good that surrounded me. I began to feel grateful for everything life brought into my life including the lessons I learned from the bad things in my life.

Eventually, I discovered I could live my life from a place of love. It isn't always easy. There are times when I still struggle with anger, negativity, love, and positivity; however, I find life is so much better now that I don't allow anger to rule my life.

Kentucky Horse Park - May 2012
I've never claimed, nor even thought, that I have it all figured out. I just like to share what I learn about life in hopes it will help someone else. To me that's what life is all about... Is that putting myself on a high horse? I don't think so, but I guess I just have to accept that other people might see it that way...

No comments:

Post a Comment