Clouds over Peoples Unitarian Universalist Church, built in 1878. (c) Gazette 2010.
I have spent years trying to control my anger, and I thought I'd succeeded, but instead, I suppressed it. Suppression does not mean you've controlled anger, it just goes underground like a river, and bubbles up in little spring-lets of depression, hate and regret when I least expect it.
That is what happened to me when they, again, voted to sell Peoples Church, built in 1878. It has had a "For Sale" sign out front for two years, but I did not believe that it would sell. Deal after deal fell through. Now it looks like the property is going to shoot up in value due to a coming medical mall, so of course, we have a "secret" buyer.
Why doesn't this person/company doesn't want their name to be known if everything is above board? Of course, they stand to make a lot of money on our property which is a whole block of downtown. I wish I could buy it. They are asking less than I sold my outlying properties for.
So, I am angry and frustrated. I don't want to be. I can tell I am angry because (1) I have written several acerbic posts on Facebook and here, with the idea of telling the truth. (2) I cried on the minister's shoulder in front of the church (3) I denied that I cared at all about selling the church, saying, 'It isn't really MY church" (4) I worried and rethought posting, and even copied, then deleted, posts thinking that it wasn't fair of me to judge what others have done when I don't know all of the circumstances. (5) I have read over and over Lama Surya Das's book, Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be. (6) I have meditated and meditated on non-attachment. (7) I've tried to 'let go and let god.'
I still suffer. I look for the lesson. I look for the meaning, the message of my anger. A wise woman has told me to discover what my emotions are trying to tell me. Another one said to allow my emotions to bubble up to the surface, to feel them fully and not be afraid of them. Feel them bubble up, feel as angry as you can (without acting out), then watch as they recede. That is hard after spending your whole life believing that anger is bad. That sorrow is bad. Is it anger or is it sorrow?
I think of Gibran in The Prophet:
... selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. How else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Anger can be a call to action, giving energy and life. It could be calling me to fight for salvation of this building. It could also be calling me to reexamine myself and my ecological ethics. It could be calling me to 'let go' of that which I can't control.
It could be calling me to realize that everything is not about me. And sometimes, I just don't know. This is one of those times. I don't know.