FEBRUARY 19, 2015

What’s Wrong With You?

I’m late in writing about love, because that’s what the month of February is supposed to extol. But there was nothing about romance that I felt drawn to share; in fact I wanted to write about anger. Anger during the month of love? What’s going on?

I’m observing a lot of anger these days. I just don’t see it as coming from spite. Rather, I‘m hearing the cry of hearts that are broken. Defeated by the weight of life. Broken down by regret and despair. “What’s the point?” they say, or just as shattering, “It’s too late.”

I’m also sensing anger that’s coming from shame. It’s that part of us that agrees with what we’ve been told or made to feel by people, especially those close to us: “You’re not good enough,” “Who do you think you are?” or “What’s wrong with you?”

Repeated through countless ways by similar faces, we’ve mouthed the words and accepted them as true: “There is something wrong with me. I am not good enough.” We’ve learned that we do not deserve to be accepted and loved. We have come to believe that honouring ourselves is shame-on-you narcissistic and that taking care of ourselves is frivolous. Such cruelty cuts into our core, especially because we’ve unleashed it on ourselves. It deepens our grief, that voiceless wail that through our imperfections, our struggles, and our longings wishes to say: “I want to accept me. I desire to be OK as I am in this moment. I have a right to be happy. I deserve unconditional acceptance. I am worthy of love.”

And so it is I believe that external fury is but a mirror to our internal wrath, directed at our own selves, unknowingly. Do we not break our own hearts when we beat ourselves down with self-doubt, self-criticism, and negative self-talk? Do we not crush our own spirits when we judge ourselves harshly, quash our own dreams because it’s too late or we’ve grown too old or too whatever. If we talk to ourselves this way, is it any surprise that we regard others the same way? Indeed, so much venom that’s unleashed into the world is the grief and pain of our own anger at ourselves.

Hope waits behind our shadow of despair. It sits within our own emptiness. Listen. Amid the silence, we may be able to hear the other side of our pain pleading to be heard. The side that wants to hold ourselves with kindness, offer our own forgiveness, compassion, nurturing. It’s the part of us that no longer wants to hurt ourselves. It’s time to heal our broken hearts. No more shame. No more anger. No more fear. Let that part of us, calmed by love, hold ourselves with compassion and comfort. It’s time to believe differently: “I am precious. I am important. I am worthy.”

Wouldn’t it be comforting to finally calm our storms by letting our own love in.

©2015 Copyright Margie Santos