Sunday, March 6, 2011
I have much anger in me. It's so overwhelming and ever present that it eclipses everything positive that I aspire to be and do. My anger has been with me a long time. It's habitual. I am comfortable in it, like wearing an old sweater. I am immersed in it. Saturated. It runs deep in me. My anger festers. It wells up from unknown springs. From past hurts. It's never ending. All encompassing.
I want you to imagine a bathtub. Now fill that bathtub to to the brim with love, compassion, tolerance, patience, peace, support and encouragement. If you will now, imagine my anger as a hulking, fat, mass of a body lowering down into that tub. Brutally displacing that healing water. Imagine then what's left when my anger disappears. Not much. I'm spent. Ravaged. Stripped bare.
That anger leaves a void that fills with despair. It leaves me with an ache that makes me cry out. My anger makes me want to do rash things.
I can't always stop it or control it. I'm not always mindful of it. I haven't learned to let it go. Sometimes it comes and goes in the blink of an eye. Some of it has seemed to have lasted my entire lifetime. I've carried it with me for so long in fact there are times I don't even notice it. Or the damage it does. But there are times, like today, that it is an obvious crushing burden.
And it reminded me of a story. The story of The Town Mule and The Country Mule.
One day, long ago, a prospector from the mountains came down into a bustling town to sell his gold. The prospector was riding a horse and had a mule in tow. He tied up his horse and mule at the hitching post next to a mule from the town. The man removed several large satchels and packs from his mule and entered a building to sell his gold. The town mule watched all this and saw that the country mule's back was terribly bowed from the constant burden he carried. The town mule felt horrible about this for his own back was not bowed. The town mule disliked having to carry anything and was curious as to how the country mule could stand to carry such a weight.
So the town mule asked, "Hey mule, how do you bear such a heavy burden?"
And the country mule replied, "What burden?"
I too have been that country mule that is so used to the heavy load he carries that he is no longer even aware that it is a burden. My anger is that heavy load and I was made painfully aware of it today.
I have been working on ridding myself of that burden for some time now but obviously not hard enough.
That is going to change.
Today I say YES to perseverance.