It was not until I was in a Clinical Pastoral Education program that my supervisor there pushed me to “deal with” my anger. I remember it erupting one day following a group experience where one of my fellow students had been just plain rude to a presenter. Later in the day when we were in group, just students and supervisor, I remember Jack (a Jesuit priest) pushing me to talk about, feel, and release my anger. And I finally did. And the world did not end (a complete surprise to me!). The guy I was mad at (and appropriately so) and I walked out to the parking lot at the end of the day, still talking together; we moved through the balance of our study time together as colleagues, with relationship still intact.
All this comes to mind because yesterday I got really mad. Many of you know that my house is on the market for sale. This means regular and recurring evacuations from the home with dog in tow so that others can come through and look at it. The experience (inconvenience aside) has been largely painless. Many agents do not turn off all the lights that I have been told to put on before I leave – but others do. I’m not sure people are into wiping their feet on the way in, but hey, we’re trying. Yesterday I had two showings, one at 12:30 and one at 1:30. The dog and I got lost for the first by running an errand and picking up lunch, finding a shady tree under which to park and eat (dog cookie for you know who). I then came home thinking I would run in between the two visits to be sure all lights were on, but part of the 1:30 visit (the client I presume) showed up early so I did not; Nelly and I hung out with the neighbors for a bit. When I did come home all seemed in order but for the ruined stylus belonging to my Kindle, and the left behind Burger King crown (perhaps a peace offering from the truant child?). That was shortly after 2 pm. After six o’clock last night I walked around to the basement (my leg is bothering me and this route is
easier than the cellar stairs). And I found the basement door wide open, and the dog pen door open as well. I have indoor cats. I was not pleased that the doors had been left open for over four hours – and I could not find one of my cats. I was angry; and I was frightened. Happily, some time later I did find the cat inside, and if any critters came in the door, they have not yet made
It was good to get angry. In doing so I dealt with, acknowledged my feelings, and healing ensued. Today is a new day. And I am glad.