Theun, thanks for the response to my request for guidance about my feelings for Dad. It sure is helping me to look more clearly in the preparations for speaking with him tomorrow. In order to find that place of gentleness and ruthlessness, I am having to track back a load of stuff. And to help me on my way, the universe has provided me with a really special situation that has been a truly button pushing moment.
I am constantly amazed at how when a question is asked, either of you or myself, the answer is never what I think it is going to be. The answers are always so much deeper and inclusive, leading into new directions and ways. Really fascinating. I love it and fear it, this process. How can I express my gratitude for the benefits of you, your team, and the team of Toltecs known and unknown, past and present?
Well, to do the best I can to learn to live the teachings is one way, probably the only way, as I see that gratitude is not very interesting to Toltec people.
Okay, back to mega button pushing. My dance colleague got mad with me because she had not learnt her part of the choreography that we (dance group) were working on. She said I had shown her wrong and I knew that I had not. At that moment, it did not matter to me that she had got it muddled before, but that she got it right from then on. But my colleague would not let go of her righteous indignation and whipped herself up into a fury getting louder and louder and making less and less sense in the way of reasonablenes. She was totally determined to blame me for her muddles. She shouted over anything I tried to say. She had a number one hissy fit ending with, "Nothing I do is right, everything I do is wrong".
At this point I lost it and shouted back at her, "Do you think I do this (point out that she was not doing the correct steps) to make you feel wrong?" and "I cannot learn this for you" and "I am exhausted with showing you and showing you, and you not taking the trouble to learn".
I felt angry with my colleague for not taking the trouble to learn and for setting the rest of us back, by wasting yet more time asking me to go over and over the same combinations week after week. This means that the time we had set aside for rehearsals and polishing up of existing work was not happening because she demanded that precious time for herself only. Self importance was ruling us.
I also realised that I had reacted to my colleague like a child, instead of listening to her, I was thinking about how she kept messing things up for the rest of us. So she had to keep pumping up the volume until I really heard her. That deep part of herself that feels always wrong. If I had been listening to my colleague with my heart, she would not have gone off the deep end.
This led me to examine myself and the parts of myself that are always 'wrong' tracking back when I was accused often as a child of doing and being in the wrong when in fact I was (to my mind) innocent of such 'wrongs'. Especially being blamed for something I did not do. I would react like my colleague and yell my innocence, even if I could not see what the truth was.
Then I remembered the violence between my parents, how Mum would whip herself into anger, getting louder and louder and throwing things about, how she would keep that up until Dad hit her. It was the angry child in her that would not stop. It was the blaming of Dad for everything that sent his angry child over the edge. He could not control himself anymore than Mum could. Once the seething pit of rage had been accessed, that was it.
I too have done this and brought the rage of others down onto my head.
I walked away from my colleague. I would not fight this way anymore. After 10 mins, I came back into the studio and we started work on a different and less emotionally explosive choreography. The atmosphere was not exactly calm, but each one of us did our careful best to dance.
Later I remembered that my colleague had told me that she had been in many violent and abusive relationships with men. I see how in opening up, she is experiencing and manifesting this in dance class.
I do not choose to be party to this anger and verbal violence. We need to sit down together and work this out. There is much to learn here.
I felt crappy at losing my temper because I had lost control. Once I had shouted at my colleague I no longer felt anger towards her. Yet I have been feeling anger towards her for months for not pulling her weight. She must have sensed this. I have not lost my temper like this in years, many times, I have not expressed my anger. So is rage seething in me?
So Théun, I did not shout at you, but at somebody else. What a game!
What is the difference between anger and rage? Is rage just suppressed anger? Is rage the point when we refuse to listen? Or is it just another stage of anger? Is rage unexpressed anger that escalates to violence? Is violence a response to fear?
LOL! My friend, I have to laugh when you state that gratitude is not very interesting to Toltecs. Now whatever gives you that impression? <ww> But all jokes aside. Yes, the only way in which the warrior CAN express his or her gratitude is to lead by example and thereby to make a difference in this world. In this way we give thanks for the unspeakable gift of life, and for the stupendous opportunity of being able to walk this wonderful world in our never-ending search for the totality of self. Whilst treading the Path with a Heart we TOUCH the world sparingly, but with all the love in our hearts and with that deep humility which comes from knowing that our lives will be over all too quickly, and that when the final moment comes we will leave the same way as we came - with nothing other than the knowledge we gained within life, and we leave behind us merely the mark we made upon the world - whether that mark was BEAUTY-FULL or whether it was ugly, whether it served a USE-FULL purpose or whether it was a self-indulgent waste of precious time.
I am also pleased to see that you are already feeling sufficiently "at home" with us that you feel free to share. This is good, my friend, for we all need to share and even to release the pressure from time to time. I also feel that you have learned a great deal from your friend in the dance class. :) So, yes, you are right! It is time to return the gift. It is time to sit down and to SHARE with one another. :) If you start this off by sharing with your friend, without blame and without self-pity, what happened for YOU in this interaction, you will find she will fall very quiet in listening to you, and then she will open up to you. :)
You ask what is rage? Rage is suppressed anger, and remember that anger is the desire to fight. In your case you have the desire to fight for your self-respect and self-worth, and in the case of your friend, she has the desire to fight for believing that she is lovable and wanted. This is exactly why she always ends up in abusive relationships, for at some level she does not believe that she deserves anything better than abuse. Yet deep down inside she knows that this is not true, and is therefore beginning to fight for it, but does not yet know how, other than to express her sense of frustration as anger. What you can do to help both of you, is to share with her that TOGETHER you can support each other in your own respective battles by SHARING your struggles, rather than by turning each other into the enemy. This is what you also need to do with your father. Unconditional love, my friend, is the GREATEST power wielded by the warrior, and it helps us to win even the most impossible of battles. This I know from experience. :)
With warm regards,