The one you feed…

Not long ago a friend and fellow author wrote a blog about anger and it got me thinking.  I used to be very angry.  Seething, nowhere for the rage to go, kind of anger.  And while I don’t think anyone needs a justification for their own feelings, I think it’s important to know that these kind of emotions don’t just pop up out of nowhere.  They don’t exist just because we feel like being difficult or hard to get along with.  They exist because they were born within us out of something.

For me it was a whole melting pot of things.

  • Being disabled
  • Being visually impaired
  • Being poor
  • Growing up without a father
  • Being aboriginal
  • Being female
  • Being queer.

All those things are part of my identity and all, each on their own, are reasons enough to be angry.  Each on their own were reasons I was bullied and made fun of at various points of my life. I’ve been suicidal, and a cutter (not the same thing) at various points of my life.  So I suppose I am not just angry but sometimes I am sad as well.

Not today, mind you.  Today is a happy day, as have been most of them lately.  But suffice it to say that I Have Been Through Some Shit in my day, that what you see before you as a middle class government professional (and amateur writer!) is not all there is.  There is a wealth of experience and emotion and understanding of certain aspects of life that few others can grasp.

Welcome, I am your walking advertisement for intersectionality. I could be my own section of the pride parade.

I’m not sure what my point is here, all this rambling, except to maybe toot my own horn a bit.  Each of these pieces of me has been a struggle in its own way, big or small, years in the making and fighting or simple weeks to accept and integrate.  Just as I find it easy to be an out, proud, queer woman, I think it’s important to acknowledge the other parts of me.  I need to be out and proud of what I have overcome in all areas of my life, rather than just one.

And I am no longer as angry as I used to be, or I try not to be.  Here’s why:

ONE EVENING, AN ELDERLY
CHEROKEE BRAVE TOLD HIS
GRANDSON ABOUT A BATTLE THAT
GOES ON INSIDE PEOPLE.

HE SAID “MY SON, THE BATTLE IS
BETWEEN TWO ‘WOLVES’ INSIDE US ALL.
ONE IS EVIL. IT IS ANGER,
ENVY, JEALOUSY, SORROW,
REGRET, GREED, ARROGANCE,
SELF-PITY, GUILT, RESENTMENT,
INFERIORITY, LIES, FALSE PRIDE,
SUPERIORITY, AND EGO.

THE OTHER IS GOOD.
IT IS JOY, PEACE LOVE, HOPE SERENITY,
HUMILITY, KINDNESS, BENEVOLENCE,
EMPATHY, GENEROSITY,
TRUTH, COMPASSION AND FAITH.”

THE GRANDSON THOUGH ABOUT
IT FOR A MINUTE AND THEN ASKED
HIS GRANDFATHER:

“WHICH WOLF WINS?…”

THE OLD CHEROKEE SIMPLY REPLIED,
“THE ONE THAT YOU FEED”