Thursday, May 28, 2015

Bitters are for Drinks

I realized that when you elect to criticize anything you are immediately labelled "bitter" or "angry" They are often believed to be one in the same and they are not. So when someone says you sound "bitter" I respond how so and with what regard? Then the stumbling and saying well you are upset over this issue. Yes I am and that is anger, bitterness is a much longer phased in emotion that is the result of anger not acknowledged or addressed. I have no problem acknowledging my anger and those issues that make me angry. And I have no problem acknowledging the one thing I am bitter about - my Attorney and his abject laziness and inability to actually communicate with me. And again that is also probably a reflection of the issues I have living here and the type of personality that manifests here. So while I loate Attorneys I can say that perhaps they may be, emphasis on may, be better elsewhere but I seriously doubt that.

And anger is not rage either. That is often again the result of bitterness and anger that has gone unresolved. And not everyone responds to those emotions in rage. We see it often reflected in suicides, addictions and other pathological behaviors that can be turned inward.

In Yoga we call it ahimisa, meaning non-violence. Even being angry can be an act of violence to the emotiosn. It is why I practice meditation and prayer. A Harvard man.. yes Harvard... found that meditation not medication reduces not only stress but alters brain functioning in a positive way. When anything positive comes from Harvard I am amazed but mostly then it validates what again many have known for thousands of years.

But I also say that acknowledging one's anger can come from expressing it. And in Seattle (and in many liberal bastions) we don't like that at all. Unless you have something nice to say then say nothing at all should be our town motto. If you do have the audacity to say a negative thought, expect to be promptly reprimanded with a passive aggressive response. "I don't understand your point" "You are telling me this why" "You are not making any sense." Funny I must be non sensical or so unitelligible it is a wonder I am a teacher. It took me awhile to figure out that was the way of saying "I don't want to hear you neener, neener" And yes when one is "passionate" about any subject you can veer on the level of unitelligible but allow the opportunity to let emotions subside and ask salient questions to clear up one's confusion. It only acclerates anger to be accused and demeaned.

We don't like conflct when it means our world view is shaken. We assume people angry are also bitter, sociopaths and ragealochics who will go postal.

As I see in Seattle the two cities and the children that live in them I can see the differences of children raised in families where the anger is supressed, opressed and misdirected. They are deeply anxious, deeply troubled children who for them learning is utterly a challenge to the point they may has well be hiking the Pacific Trail as sitting down to cite three facts versus those of opinions in readings. It is tragic at times to wonder what will happen to them so you focus on the now and hope their anger does not turn into bitterness.

And as I tried to reconcile my anger at this city I live and cannot wait to leave I found an episode of Iconoclast done in 2006 with one of my all time favorite writers, Maya Angelou, and one of my all time favorite comedians, Dave Chappelle; The two sat down together for a brilliant episode of this former Sundance series. Chappelle had already walked away from his show on Comedy Central at this point, and in Part 2 of the episode Angelou imparts some great advice: You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.

I thought what a perfect pair in which to see how taking one's own path means that you will find the way home and home is wherever you need and want to be. Seattle is just my physical home for now and my spiritual home is where I am most of the time and that keeps me from being bitter. And so excuse this my emotional rant for the day but I needed to vent and to let it go.

Watch, laugh and learn. And have a drink with a touch of a bitter.

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