Sptember is here, and with it thoughts of fall. I've already begun to prepare for the autumn. The wreaths in my house that normally hide in the living room are more prominent than before, I have garlands of fall leaevs hanging from my curtains. Before the week it out, I'll be stenciling fallscapes on my walls as well, so that I can celebrate the season. I'm enjoying looking at Halloween decorations immensly, and I am taking time to plan for our next fall ritual.
With this season comes thoughts of death. For me this is natural. The wheel of the year is turning, slowly and symbolically, to the time when it is darker and we spend more time sleeping, storing and waiting for brighter days. This is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year. However hot it is where I live (we're still experiencing extreme summer weather, we've had heat advisories this week with tempratures well over 100) I cannot escape the fact that, for me, fall is here. I should be celebrating it.
One of the things that bears thinking about this time of year is the darker side of the self, the things we fear, the things that run deeper than surface. Every person has their dark side, for some of us it is more prominent than others. For me, I feel, its hidden, but not well, and it spends quite a bit of time simmering just below the surface. If you were to meet in me in a public setting you'd be likely to say that I am a happy, friendly person. I'm nice to people. I'm affectionate. I'm empathetic. You'd be right. I am, as a general rule, pretty happy with my life and the people in it. I try to be kind to everyone whether I think they deserve it or not. I listen well when you can get me to stop talking, and I relate well to most people's life experiences. But then, you're only scratching the surface.
Anyone who has been visiting any of my blogs for long knows there is much more to me. There is quite a bit of that fear in me. There is a darker side of the self, one that I am much less reluctant to show here than I am anywhere else. I have many things that I am afraid of. I fear letting myself, my partners, my friends down. I am afraid of losing the security that I treasure so much. I am afraid of lonliness and of the disapproval of others.
More than that, though, I am angry. More than I should be. This is my true darker self. There's no question for me. One of the things we did this year while celebrating Beltane was to discuss as a group what it was we were wanting to achieve spiritually. Where our hearts, as it were, were needing change the most. I said I wanted to work on my temper. I'm angry almost all the time, even when I'm happy. Years of therapy never really did teach me to let things go. I received a not so subtle message from God and Goddess earlier in the week that I need to get ahold of myself, my temper was going to fuck up everything I am working for, if I am not careful. It was definately not news to me, but getting the wakeup call was startling nonetheless, I felt like I was doing better.
Then I got to thinking about it.
I'm still angry with my family about a lot of things. Despite the fact that I've accepted it and moved on, I'm angry with several of my exes for things that happened while we were together. There are sometimes I am angry at things I can't even control- my helplessness at cruelty in the world, the ignorance of others, the savagry of the human race. On a smaller, but no less important, scale I find myself angry that I don't try harder, or do more. I get upset when I find myself in a position I've been in before and I react the same way knowing what will happen. I get angry about work, about not going to school. Hell, sometimes I even feel angry at my very good friends because they're so good to me I feel like I ought to be a more deserving person and I'm nto sure I can't. I was mad at Oscelot the other day because she asked for candy at the gas station and said I could pick anything, and the pressure and worry of picking the wrong thing caused me to panic and not pick anything at all.
Its not just the anger though. Its how I handle it. I never just say something. I let it simmer. I think about what I would say if I had the courage to, if I knew I wouldn't be punished for it later. I think of how I would act, were I not a rational human being. Once, I saw myself as a panther chewing up one of my customers and then puking her back up on the table like a hairball, because she had made me angry. (actually, it frightened me at the time, but now I feel like that was a pretty healthy expression of my rage. I got it out of my system, and I didn't say anything.)
So, here I am, at the time of the year when you're supposed to be embracing your fear and your darker self to make positive change. Embracing the dark self is an amazing way to improve your abilities in the Craft, and I want to. I really do. The question for me is, how do I take that and make it into something positive and useful? I know my fears. I can find positives in them. I am safe and secure. I do my best to be a good partner, friend and coven mate to my chosen family. I know I can be the things I want to be, the things I chose to be, I just have to have faith in myself.
But how do I control the anger? How do you channel that into something good, into something useful? One of our rules is to never work when you're angry. ("Work", mind you, not work) The things I get angry about like politics and cruelty, those things I know I can work on. I talk about them here, I volunteer, I try my best to make people aware of the good they could do instead of the cruel. But stupidity in others is not something I can fix. And I am not patient. Not at all. I want what I want yesterday, but since I can't have it yesterday RIGHT NOW will have to do. This means I have to learn to be patient, but being patient when I don't want to be makes me angry. See how the circle begins? I don't want to be a martyr, and sometimes when I'm angry about some of the things in my work and personal life I feel like I set myself up that way. I'm bearing things as best I can, setting aside the injustices that I feel are done me, all to better my karma. Self serving, isn't it? Even when I try to be good I can't win.
I've done my best to try and breathe deeply and let things go. It doesn't work. I get more mad. I can't even meditate anymore, because all the things that I'm trying to wash away from myself come flooding into my head and it becomes a personal rage reflection time. I've tried cleansing breaths, I've tried talking it out. I've even tried writing it away.
My best bet, so far, I think, is to take that rage in me and work visualization. To think of that rage as a reflection of my power and strength as a person. I mean, if I can work that much energy into being mad and never express it, think of how amazing it would be if I took that energy and turned it into something else completely. Think of the power behind love or compassion or just plain old raw energy with that sort of strength.
My mission right now is to find a way to work that transformation. To create personal alchemy, as it were. I want my mettle to be made of better stuff. I am completely unsure of how to do it. I'm working up a plan. If you have suggestions, I'm always open to them. If you don't want to comment them to me, I've got an email address for that reason. I always like mail from people that love me. Even the electronic kind.
I want to be better. That's the first step, right? I mean, I had someone tell me yesterday that I'm sometimes too nice. Too nice. I wanted to laugh, because honestly, if most people took time to crawl around in my head, I think they'd run screaming the other direction. Its a scary place, even for me, sometimes. I mean, I know that no one healthy has Candyland up there or anything, but then, they also don't have panthers stalking in the tall grass waiting to chew you to peices and cough you up into a hairball, do they?
Count to Ten, Take a Breath.
I'm glad you're here, and you love me, even if I am a little nuts sometimes.