There is the mud, and there is the lotus that grows out of the mud. We need the mud in order to make the lotus.
I’ve been reading a fair amount of Thich Nhat Hanh’s works, of which the library has a decently large selection. I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I had no idea who he was before I started reading “Miracle of Mindfulness” (1975) and “Peace is Every Breath” (2011). He was an incredibly brave peace activist during the Vietnam war. He had met with Dr Martin Luther King Jr. to urge him to denounce the war, and King later nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for a Nobel Peace Prize. (wiki)
I have found his writings to be gentle and friendly and welcoming. His style is concise and poetic, which I tend to gravitate towards, as each word tends to stand out like a jewel.
This week marks my first year away from the person who emotionally abused me. Looking back, it’s been a year of highs and lows, some moments of beauty, some of stark depression. It isn’t easy learning how to feel and express my emotions. I had to be so guarded with them when I was with her. Now I have a tendency to “fly off the handle”; my temper is too quick and flashes out like lightning. Now that I’m free to have angry feelings and express them after 4 years of bottling them up, the angry wants to jump out of me all the time, and I hate it. I hate how it makes me like her. She was always angry at something, her anger was righteous, terrible anger, road rage. She would kick cars when she was angry at the owner, punch cars that annoyed her. She threw keys through a wall once.
I don’t want to be like that.
But I am a human being, and I have feelings, and one of them is anger. And it needs to be felt, and expressed, but in a non-damaging way.
No mud, no lotus.
I’ve had a lot of mud surrounding me. I am working on growing up through the muck.