Anger is just sad’s bodyguard.
When I first read the quote above, I had no clue what it meant. I couldn’t form the words into any semblance of understanding. Then it hit me and I understood with every fiber of my being. Like a bodyguard protecting a client, we hide our sadness behind anger. Anger is our shield to protect us from exposing our emotions to the world.
So much of the world lives on the edge between sadness and happiness. The cars and houses and huge TV’s don’t bring the happiness expected. Instead, sadness settles deep inside, a loss we might not even understand. Because we won’t – or aren’t able – to admit the sadness at the center of our supposed ‘search for happiness,’ we pretend the sadness isn’t there. We get angry at the people, events, politicians, (add your own favorites) we ‘think’ are keeping us from the happiness we deserve.
The truth is, we aren’t entitled to ‘happiness’ just because we exist. Every one of us is responsible for tearing down our own shield of anger and confronting the reality of life. Is all the anger in the world just hiding sadness over lives failing to fulfilled our own expected potential?
I lash out when I’m sad, trying to avoid some issue in my life. I don’t like feeling out-of-control. The funny thing is, I know I’m hiding but I can’t help myself. It’s easier to blame the world than to admit to the sadness settled inside me. It takes me a few hours, or days, to talk myself around to admitting the sadness hiding behind my armor.
If I am sad over a bill, with no clue where to find the money to pay, I get angry. If only I had a better paying job; didn’t have to support my (adult) kids; if my mortgage company hadn’t screwed over some perceived slight. You get the picture.
We all struggle with these feeling ever day. It’s the ostrich head in the sand syndrome. If I don’t acknowledge the problem, it just might go away. I might win the lottery (if I played) or I might find a fortune in my attic (fat chance). Or I might just wind my way around to acknowledging my anger and deal with the problem head-on. It doesn’t matter if I come up with an acceptable solution – such as where to get the money – I’ve confronted the issue. That alone given me the peace needed to calmly and logically deal with the problem.
What if we could strip away the anger of the world, banish every shred guarding the sadness of an entire planet? What would be left for every man, woman and child? Sadness. And then what if we acknowledged the sadness, every one of us on the entire planet. What if nobody felt out-of-control?
What would our planet look like then?
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