The Atmosphere of Today’s Grievances, Resentment, and Anger
Finding Answers Within
By Kathleen Leppek
These day’s I wake up ready to see the next headline displaying the latest example of human grievances along with seeing them acted out where I work, in my community, nationally, and across the globe. Seems everyone feels they are owed something. How did this get so bad and how can we come together? Is the chaos around us throwing us into primal fears triggering grievances, resentment, and anger? Even through my own efforts to understand, I see how it isn’t easy to sing with someone when they don’t want to sing with you. It comes to the old adage to look within and heal thyself so that we can all get better together.
There are so many practical, common sense, constructive choices we can make to put us on a positive path to betterment for humanity, all living things, and the Earth itself. I see every day real advancements made by real people and groups at all levels of every city, state, and nation. In many ways the world is really getting better every day. Now we just need to get it together and seal the deal.
Many eons ago humanity came to this earth and every step was wrought with danger and possible death. Can you imagine being in the tropical rainforest of Brazil and everything wants to kill you from poisonous spiders and snakes to a black panther on the hunts for its next meal? Fear becomes extreme in our bodies. Our consciousness becomes ever alert and addicted to the thrill of making it alive, and angry when we don’t win and make a crucial mistake, or when a family member we relied on doesn’t make it. There could be others that have a much better fate than us. They get their next meal, have the security of shelter, have a close supportive network of community that educates them, and care when ill. Our grievances grow and our anger could be the intense emotion that fuels a disease.
Some of my favorite grievances are: Why didn’t anyone tell me? Why wasn’t I cared for just a little bit better? I’m just a kid. I don’t know what’s going on. Why isn’t someone taking care of me? I feel neglected. Don’t take my choice away. For me these grievances come out in anger when I could have gladly cooperated if I knew better. I’m surprised how angry I get when I feel slighted by my husband’s miss step in taking care of the basics for me. Is he really responsible to figure out every computer issue I can’t or don’t want to? Is he so perfect that if he forgets something or I’m not at the top of his list, that it’s okay for me to be angry? This was a surprising discovery because we have always been a very independent couple, with no children, low needs, and a sense of contentment. I’ve realized that a marriage contract doesn’t mean he is responsible for all my well-being. In fact, I’m responsible for me and I accept help from friends and guidance from above.
The security of contentment at my home base and a meaningful relationship is important to me and the ego can flare up in anger when it feels neglected, which goes back to my original grievances. It has been necessary for me to look at a situation with fresh eyes and own my part in it. Was I feeling sorry for myself or was I over using my power? What was my intent and the intent of the people involved? We are meant to be fluid beings, as we move we learn. Experience is the key to learning. The struggle is part of the journey and the tumbles are part of becoming who we are. Albert Einstein said, “Failure is success in progress.” Whether it’s grief, pain, regret, yours or another’s rath, revel in the lesson learned and that your resolve will help you move forward with the positivity of heart felt understanding. We carry a negative bias to protect ourselves, making everything else wrong. See both sides of a situation. Seek balance. Move back and forth from negative and positive perspectives and consider how another might see the situation. Reassess thoughts, emotions, and feelings. Be open to re-think past limiting perspectives and move forward. Contemplate. It’s always best to wait and get information before reacting; and then when ready, choose constructively. I can choose constructively when I’m not enslaved to my old habits, patterns, grievances, and greatly valued opinions that are actually blocking me. I have to see and understand them if I want to be free and loosen their grip. Admit it happened. It mattered. Don’t dismiss how it made you feel or belittle the impact it had on you. I learned to come to resolution with my past and glean a more complete comprehension. I choose to be free. I choose to liberate myself from my ego’s habit of restricting me because of fear and not wanting to take responsibility.
I also choose to relate with care and not to hurt others to end the cycle of anger in myself. Anger is part of human experience, but I don’t want to hurt others in my uncontrolled response to it. Shape anger in a constructive way. Release it with control though constructive thought, speech, creative activities, non-competitive sports, and especially humility through humor. Many comedians have tapped into the use of humor while showing humility. It’s interesting that honest expressions of ourselves make us laugh and others too. It helps us see inside ourselves, our authentic struggles that we share, and the honest revelation seems to bring us together not to mention letting go a load of tension through laughter and the childlike joy of finding humor in life. Gratitude brings in an air of freshness. Every day is a new day with something gained from living life each moment. Be in the now. Recognize the beauty all around.
In my naivety, I want to believe that everyone has good intent. But, as an adult I’ve had to realize that many are temporarily confused, and their intent in the moment is not constructive and is driven by the presence of individual power at all costs, anger, resentment, grievances; and sometimes disregard and a lack of common respect. Occasionally that means staying away from confrontational people and situations. I’ve learned sometimes my response needs to be limited, unresponsive, and unreactive as possible. Yes, I feel my naïve self say as it wakes up to the idea that there is such a thing as a bully. We often see them at school, in the workforce, and today in politics. I just plant the Beatles song Let It Be in my head. When I can’t figure things out this leads me to acceptance. When I do figure it out, I can plant the song Let It Go in my head. I can stand with a badge of courage and strength that I have made it to the other side of a struggle and there are no grievances to carry.
Walt Disney is also an inspiration to me. When completed film projects came in for review, Disney told his team that we can do better. He brought the highest levels of cooperation and collaboration leading to betterment on his films and ideas. Everyone can contribute and inclusivity makes things better for all of us. Jiminy Cricket said, “Let your conscious be your guide.” I wish Jiminy was still on every Sunday night to remind children (and us) of this.
Let your conscious be your guide. Connecting head and heart will see you through. The soul will help you uncover answers slow and steady and is not result driven, but patient. It’s the ego that wants it and wants it now, always reacting. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep trying. The journey is fraught with the unexpected. Challenges beget progress. The expense is not waisted in the endeavor. Look behind you at the diversity you have lived. The dilemma faced yesterday has become a shining achievement in your back pocket to advise you today. You have not failed. The many trials are an accomplishment well earned. It is in the struggle that I’ve seen many people describe their experience with pin-point accuracy. They know what is important at a whole new level and can navigate challenges hungry for the gratitude that comes with the release of tension.
It is time to make a new declaration that is beyond happy. It’s more than that. It’s about life experience, lessons learned, and understanding gained that allows us to adapt to an evolving humanity and planet with eyes wide open to see a better way forward while sharing our best shelves with respect, acceptance, and appreciation of ourselves, humanity, all living things, and the Earth.