An Old Assignment

Even though this was written well over a year ago… The prompt for this assignment: “Describe in detail the advantages of Anger, Hate, Happiness, and Love. You may also include the disadvantages of these emotions.”

(Written May 6th, 2010)

Anger. In the Star Wars Mythos, which I feel compelled to give mention to here, Sidious felt anger to be the most destructive of emotions. Here, I will not dispute such a sound judgement, it can be destructive – which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, it can also be a force of creativity, of building. It is ultimately a catalyst for action. The question of productivity, of benefit, is answered with another question: was it guided by reason, intellectually, and spiritually acknowledged, digested? Overcoming, embracing, neither are done through domination; it is more a matter of guidance and that can only be accomplished when an emotion is properly processed.

This has been a potent catalyst for change in my life, chaotic, uncertain struggle towards my aspirations. It tends to propel those who ride with their emotions, driving them onwards. I think one of the most frequently occuring problems I’ve had is a failure to observe. This emotion is very much in the moment, primal when compared to some of the more revered. Swift. I believe that working with this emotion for my own benefit is dependent on not just reacting. I’ve come to take it in, simply feel for a moment, trying to figure it out. In doing this, in accepting and mindfully responding I form a diologue, if you will. It is quite similar to a discussion in that rather than simply saying the first thing that comes to mind, I take a moment to consider my response. I’m fond of calling this digestion. I have slip ups, I fail sometimes, but that never marks the end of my attempts at awareness. It seems such is more difficult with anger, because it is so incindiary, so sudden, and so much in the present. Also, it is so very natural for it to manifest through the body. In physical labor, and sometimes in physical confrontation, it shows how useful it can be. To direct these manifestations to the other aspects of my being is something I see as extremely advantageous.

Hate. Though effortlessly intertwined, it seems to contrast with anger in it’s tendency to reach into the future, so far that I do not see an end. I don’t use this word often, because hate is wretchedly strong, or has been in my experience, and there are very few things I feel it for. My Step-Dad for instance, slandering my Dad throuhout the time I’ve known him, beating the shit out of me; this is someone I hate. When I was a small child, my Dad was my best friend, but my Step-Mother took that, always had his trust and his ear, and fed him nothing but lies, especially when she would beat the shit out of me. Some describe hate as less primal, more intellectual than feelings such as anger or fear. I agree. Perhaps due to it’s longevity, it has always appeared to demand more jusitifcation as time passes, for I seldom want it to flee. And yet, even being more mind oriented it can still be irrational. Something I have learned a lot about through this emotion is patience and deceit. I learned how to wait for the opportune moment, and what might be called ‘practice’ has helped me to recognize when to seize them and when to let them pass; otherwise know as picking one’s battles, or becoming familiar with effective timing.

To give context, let us return to the example of my Step-Mother. I put up with her shit for years. It took a long time to really digest this feeling, especially in being unfamiliar with the potential of such a process; but when I had, I learned that a facade benefited me, pretending to submit, appearing to give ground and make concessions. However, the hate was still there, all to potent; I saw the fruits of my patience at first in one of the few arguments I care to remember, in which I was so right, so in the right that when I took a stand and essentially told her, “nope, your wrong, fuck you” she was flustered, pissed, unable to respond verbally. She still responded physically, of course, but I won, and there were no negative reverberations from my Dad, she had nothing to say to him and I had long given up trying to make him understand… out of my love for him. You see, as vile as she was, he loved her for some reason, needed – and still needs – her so that he can keep going, keep living, in some sense of the word.

I am angry at my step mother, for drinking away my Dad’s money, for getting a substantial portion of my family a hairsbreadth from living on the streets. Her actions no longer affect my physically, I am quite independent of them, but it still starts a fire burning within when I think about it. I only share this for the purpose of relating my view of emotions the way I am living my life. Really, if I possessed no reason to guide my anger she would be dead; I hate that woman, can’t hope to describe how much in fickle little words. What do I do about it? I help my Dad when I can, so long as it is not extended towards her; I make suggestions, drop hints, an have decided to take an approach of politeness in conversation with her so that my Dad will have less to worry about, less instability and stress (he had a stroke a few years ago).

Love. It’s sometimes thought to be stronger than hate, and perhaps it is. It’s intoxicating, and there is a very fine line between working with it and becoming it’s instrument. Possibly most dangerous for me, as it distorts my reasoning. It is, like all emotions, something that springs forth from within, and the loving, and acting on that love, is a very selfish thing indeed. And in this my approach is no different; I embrace it as an extension of my being, of my world, of my Self. It hurts to, a lot. It has given birth to strength, but also provides a daring invitation for weakness. In some respects, I can honestly say that I hate my love just as I love my hate. Through it, I have endured unbearable pains; but by that same token, some of the greatest, most terrific forms of suffering were experienced as manifestations of love, which were dealt with on the basis of my Will, my hunger to explore, to know, and to feel.

I love my Dad, my Grandparents, my siblings, and a woman I met in my recent past. I think that to love all, or many, would cheapen it – though this applies to all emotions. To return again to my (step-mother) example, I tolerate my her presence when I have to without complaint, even with a smile. This is an extension of my love for my dad, whom it would most affect were I to argue with her (which usually ends up with her crying about it to him). As I’ve said, for whatever reasons, my Dad needs her in his life, and I respect that. Also to take into consideration, I don’t want my Dad to die, he has enough problems financially and that stroke he had – at quite a young age – was stress induced.

Happiness. It has it’s place, shows me a sweeter flavor in life than what I am accustomed to; to pursue it as so many seem hell bent on doing, that is merely a methodology to unwittingly devalue it. After all, what would the point of it be but to instill the individual with a short lived sense of euphoria? Make no mistake, this emotion, more than any other, is a drug. To partake in it is excellent, is deserved, but to over-indulge, to make the pursuit of happiness a way of life… let me just say that such a route has made itself known as a path to become broken, usually beyond repair {though that would depend on the strength of the individual, I was strong enough to pick myself up… but I know a good number of others who have not, and probably never will, do so}.

(Written May 6th, 2010)

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