Hello lovely readers and welcome back to another one of my life-altering monthly newsletters – where I take the time to digest how my month went and look at what areas I feel the need to ‘course correct.’ At the bottom you’ll find a list of everything I’ve written about this month. As always I hope you can draw some inspiration from my words.
Let’s get into it.
On Dealing With Anger:
The big thing that’s been bothering me this month – something that has come up a number times this year – is my relationship toward anger.
Historically it’s not an emotion I’ve had much of an issue with. I’ve never believed myself to be an angry person – certainly not one who reacts to it when he is.
Anxiety has always been the big black wolf for me.
Yet, as I continue to shake off the hangover bought on by years of depression, it seems that anger is the emotion I’m having the most difficulty with.
The question is why?
Now I’m not a psychologist, of course, but what I think might be happening is this.
Those who suffer from low self esteem often have difficulty asserting their wants, needs, and boundaries to others. Part of the reason is this requires the confidence to speak up about what it is you want. Sometimes that means having to let others know about your anger. Sometimes that means engaging in conflict.
The problem for those who don’t stand up for what they want and/or need, for fear of upsetting someone or challenging the part of your ego that likes to think ‘they’re a nice guy,’ is that their anger gets left unresolved. Over time, of course, this can build…
What I suspect might be happening, as a result of repressing my anger for so many years, is that it has finally started to surface. And when it has I’ve found it difficult to deal with simply because I’m not used to it.
As a result I’ve had several periods this year where I felt, to put it bluntly, pissed off at the world for seemingly no reason. This has resulted in my flying off the handle a couple of times.
One such example of this was when I wrote this rather angry blog post (while expressing my anger in response to another doom and gloom article about the environment) at the start of the month.
Of course I had a very good reason to be angry but the way in which I expressed it wasn’t, perhaps, the most skilful. After all swearing off the world and everyone in it is not terribly useful when it comes to inspiring action – which was the main gist of the article.
Still it was an interesting perspective – an unfiltered look at what my anger does for my writing when in full-on hulk mode!
It also got me thinking.
At the end of the day I believe honesty is the best medicine and that’s what you got – an honest look at my emotions in that moment, if not a well reasoned and balanced argument. The truth is that’s exactly what I want this blog to be about. I don’t want it to be another sugar-coated site about how amazing I am. I’m not. I’m flawed, just like everybody else. I want you all to see that.
Although I might regret the way in which I expressed my anger that day, the result of bearing my soul in the moment – of allowing myself to really feel and use that anger – has been very interesting indeed.
Let me run you through a few personal changed that I’ve made since then.
For one I just published a children’s book with a message about mindful consumption at its core. In an effort to put my money where my mouth is I’ve decided to donate everything I earn from it (because I don’t need it) to a charity that works with companies to redistribute surplus food to people in need. I also decided to volunteer for the same charity this month during my time off.
In terms of politics, because I believe nothing else will matter if we don’t sort it out, I’ve decided the environment has to be my number one factor when considering who I vote for. This makes things much simpler and quite frankly I need to simplify my thinking in areas like politics.
Anger, it seems, can certainly be used to exact positive change!
If that wasn’t all, what displaying my anger did, first and foremost, was generate some very honest and humbling responses from all of you lovely readers. This has, unequivocally, helped me tremendously!
Thanking My Readers:
With that in mind allow me take this moment to thank those who did.
Not withstanding those who saw through the vulgar language I used and agreed with the message or those who reminded me that my language was a bit strong, I’d like to make special mention of two in particular.
First up, Wayne – a good WordPress friend of mine, (if he doesn’t mind me saying) – called me out on it and rightly so! It also inspired him to write this brilliant blog post – Human Nature: The Caveman in all of us – which I can highly recommend reading.
Second, a young lady lady by the name of Janelle who took the time to respond to my angry post in a profoundly mature manner. I’m sure she won’t mind me sharing her comments here – what she said was this,
Please don’t ever feel like you can’t express your anger, sadness, frustration. Because then it’ll only build up in you. But you also can’t be so hard on yourself, you can’t blame yourself for everything, just like how at one point I blamed society for how I grew up, how I’m growing up. But at the same time, I have to agree, adults have left a world for us to fix, but you can also see it in a different light. And because we’ve been left this, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing, you can look at this and say that this is our generation’s version of a hard time. Maybe before it might have been poverty, or general society not accepting other people. But it’s something that will allow us to grow! I know this is such a happy spin on everything, and I know history shows such brutal truth, but I also know that the world we live in wouldn’t be the same without it. But yes. Be angry. Be mad. But do it for a reason. Don’t blindly be angry for nothing. Be mad so that you can change something for your children. And I know I’m still considered a ‘child’. But I know that we also look up to the adults in the world. The ones that have succeeded. The ones that inspire. The ones that change. The ones that show that you can do anything if you just try. What you wrote might show the flip side that no one might agree with, but it needs to be said. It can’t be ignored. And nothing is silly. Nothing is ‘bad’. Nothing should be considered ‘bad’. It just is. This is getting long, but continue to do what you’re doing, you’ve made it this far and I know you can continue to do more! Just one step at a time.
What Janelle did was cut through my anger with a level of compassion rarely demonstrated by most adults. For her to take such a positive outlook – to understand the massive potential for meaning and purpose that can be harnessed during such trying times… This is exactly the king of resolve I hope to instil in my children as they grow.
Her message immediately made me regret the way in which I wrote the piece – not withstanding the language I used or because I expressed it – but because I did so blindly – lashing out unfairly at myself and the world. She made me pause. She made me think. She made me a better person.
To Janelle and all of my regular readers who have done the same – thank you from the bottom of my heart.
The Direction Of My Blog:
So moving on and thinking forward. What’s my vision for this blog, my career, my family and the world?
I’ve been experimenting a lot over the last six months without worrying too much about the direction of my blog. Now however I do want to make it more niche – to concentrate on something you lovely readers can depend on when you stop by.
So I ask myself what can I give – what stories and lessons can impart? What do you want to hear? More importantly, what do I want to write about?
As I head towards my command I realise it’s my story – about a child who always doubted his abilities, his strength, his intelligence, who then got bullied for years during his adolescence, who also struggled with drugs and intense feelings of anxiety, all of which led to years of depression – to then go on to become a first officer for one of the world’s best airlines – to overcome those issues with anxiety and depression…
This continued quest for building greater confidence and emotional resilience as I chase command in the years ahead is what I really want to focus on. To one day tell the story of how a fearful boy turned his life around to become an airline captain, a published author, an environmentalist and activist for positive change, a loving father of two and committed husband to one.
I do hope you’ll all stick around to hear it dear readers because, I guarantee you, it’s gonna be one heck of the ride.
Thank you so much for reading. As always I love to chat – feel free to drop me a line in the comments section below. I welcome ALL thoughts and opinions on this blog. This is a very much a free state! Wishing you all much courage, resilience, love, compassion and resolve in the months ahead. God knows we’re gonna need it and each other – now more than ever. X (P.S .- see below for list of posts I wrote in September).
Posts I Wrote This September:
The Boy Who Cried No Wolf – a bit of political satire
6 Lessons From 362 Days Of Meditation – lessons learned from (almost) a year of meditation
The Absolute Minimum We Must Give Our Children – the angry post in question
Why You Should Do It For Me – a little motivational piece