Rage and Reconciliation

Rage is one of my reds. I’ve written about it before, and will probably continue to write about it since it’s an essential part of me. A lot of my FlameKeeper work involves managing my monsters, and so I feed and fuck my rage like I do with all of them.

To embrace a monster means giving it what it needs so it comes out at appropriate times. When my rage appears, and I’m ready for it, I can usually take the time to wrap myself around it, to bathe in it, to luxuriate in the feeling before gently letting go. Sometimes, because I’ve worked on it for quite a while, even if I’m not ready I can still manage to handle my rage without allowing it to explode all over the place. Explosion all over the place usually means that someone besides me is going to be affected, and that leads to the need for reconciliation.

Reconciliation is harder for me than you may think. I hold grudges much as I’d like not to. I have an overwhelming sense of being right much of the time, and that makes it hard for me to let go when someone is clearly wrong! Hell, it makes it hard for me to let go in any situation and so I’ve actually had to train myself to do it.

( Yes. Not all of us learn the same social skills growing up.)

Here’s what I do:

  1. Deal with the rage. There’s no point in me trying to reconcile if I still can’t see clearly because of the red in front of my eyes. I need to take time to manage and regroup before doing anything else.
  2. Think about what happened, all the way through, from start to finish.  I do this over and over until I can view it without having a massive reaction in my belly, and without taking sides.
  3. Consider what the other person did/said that triggered my rage.  Did they know I have that as a trigger?  Was it deliberate, or just a poor choice of words/action?  Is the behavior out of the ordinary or typical?  Are they doing the best they can?
  4. Own my mistakes.  What did I say/do that might have hurt the other person before rage happened?  What did I do/say during rage for which I need to make amends?
  5. Contact the person/people.  Own what I did, and apologize where needed.  Accept that they have a point of view that may differ from mine.  Agree to disagree, if applicable, and recognize that their best might not equate to my own best.
  6. Let it go and move on.  Really.  No bringing it up later, no dwelling on what might have been.  Holding a grudge is not conducive to reconciliation, and reconciliation isn’t complete unless moving on is done.

Reconciliation is difficult, and it only works when people are committed to really understanding one another and wanting a relationship to work.  Since we’re all Divine, it makes sense to me to try to get along with the other pieces of the Universe and to reconcile after those times when I’ve been unable to temper my rage.

The question is, dear reader, does it make sense to you?  What are you going to do about it?

Prompts:

  • Do you have rage?  What triggers it?
  • Is reconciliation difficult for you?  Is it something you practice?
  • What are you holding on to that needs to be let go?
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7 responses to “Rage and Reconciliation

  1. Ah this speaks to my Aries nature in so many ways. How often have I had to “grab the ram by the horns”? Too often. I still have my moments of intense, wild rage that seemingly explodes from nowhere. But they don’t occur as often. Frustration. Lack of sleep. PMS. It’s a vicious beast. I am can feel my rage coming. It builds up in my chest, then shoots through my arms. But I’m usually able to stop myself….or harm myself to stop. Then I force myself to plop down in a quiet place (sometimes outside where the Air Spirits can calm me) and reflect on the situation. What set me off? Why? Mine acting like a child. Embarrassment. Frustration at letting myself go like that.

    As for what haven’t I let go? I think it has something to do with my childhood. My father is a rage-al-holic too. Explosive. Random. A victim. A man who’s a role model, but not in a way one would think. More like what I don’t want to become. I want my children to love and respect me….not fear me like I did with him. It’s just a lot of deep-seeded psychological issues that I’ve been working on for 7 years, and I’ve definitely made some head-way. Step one being Acknowledgement. Step two, Acceptance. This fiery Ram is a part of who I am. She has her uses, as well as her downfalls. It’s a matter of figuring out how to….work with her.

    • Working with monsters is, I believe, key to really knowing who we are and what we can do. There’s an amazing chapter in Kaldera’s “Dark Moon Rising” about this very topic; that chapter is what led me to trying to talk to my inner beasts and deal with them head-on instead of stuffing them in a closet.

  2. I have been trying to get a handle on my own rage outbursts for a few years now. I grew up with the raising of people-pleaser, peacekeeper, don’t start arguments, and if you are angry, shove it aside. When I started to find my voice and independence as an adult, the rage and the need to be heard took over. It started out as fuel, but then degraded in to a major drain point. It exhausted what little energy I had left after college and work. When this point sunk in, I went another route and choose to pick certain points to engage and release that aspect of me.

    Reconciliation was a much harder lesson. I grew up with little outside contact beyond my family. The rules in my family was “we’re family, we can go at each other’s throats, but when it carries to outside the family we are to be united.” I was used to being abandoned by “friends” all throughout my child-life. There wasn’t a need to have reconciliation because there was nothing left. As I grew up and began to understand the difficulties and limitations my older sister had, I no longer held her completely accountable for her actions. I forgave her for the shit she put me and everyone else through.

    I had a crash course on letting go three years ago when I was faced with the difficulties of others and their passive-aggressive social interactions. Whether or not they reconciled with drama that went on is unknown to me, so I focus on my OWN reconciliation with the situations.

    I try not to hold on to what has over-stayed it’s attention. After different strings of events that started five years ago and I’ve only just been able to let it go, but it doesn’t seem to want to leave. I over anaylze and revisit what I could have done and I have to kick myself and say, “I did the best I could have done, and hindsight is 20/20”. I just need to let all of the crap go and let the lessons be left behind.

    • It’s amazing how difficult it is to recognize that someone is doing the best they can when it isn’t the best for YOU. I’ve spent many a week wrestling with it in therapy, and I think that’s why I can look at some of the shit my family does and think, “Well, they’re not going to change.” and then go on to interact with them.

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