I spent yesterday acknowledging my anger.
Life? Yeah, I'm angry at you. Eff you grief. Eff you envy. Eff you trauma. Eff you asthmatic lungs of mine.
Today I'm remembering that even though it is true that I have been angry at the world for a mighty long time (hello, one of my favorite bands is Rage Against the Machine), it is also true that I am deeply, deeply in love with (and grateful for) life.
Deep love. Deep anger.
My anger doesn't preclude gratitude or love.
My fear doesn't preclude bravery.
Can't it actually be said that I have more gratitude (than I would have otherwise) if I wasn't also angry? Just like being scared leads to bravery (bravery is a response), isn't gratitude my response to anger?
I don't think gratitude is everyone's response to anger. Just like running and screaming is a valid response to seeing a poisonous snake, gratitude is just one response to how very fucked up/painful the world is sometimes. Anger is a valid response, too. They're not mutually exclusive. I get to have both reactions.
I've always said I'm grateful for being asthmatic because it's taught me empathy (and stillness and patience and dealing with shittiness etc...). But intwined in that is anger that my lungs don't work like most people's. That I get to get every damn virus and deal with the pain of being sick so often.
That's not fun. Being sick is not fun. I'm not grateful because it's fun. I'm grateful because that anger makes me see the flip side - I would be dead if I lived in any other era in history. I know what it's like to not be able to breathe. I'm grateful to breathe, even when it hurts. Even when I'm angry it hurts.
Emotions are complex, that's what I'm getting at here. Complex. I'm not just light. I'm light and shadow. Complex.
A human being.