"My anger protected me only for a short time; anger wearies itself out and truth comes in."-C.S. Lewis
He bubbles up and ignites within me, and I am not supposed to feel him. My face burns and I run up stairs to my room to bury my teenage head under the covers and cry. I'm not supposed to name him. But he is there. You know those verses about '...be angry and sin not' and anger not being good. So I decide it is better not to feel him. I ignore him for the most part. I pretend he never visits, except in the night hours when the lights are turned out, and I can hide my face under the blankets and cry hot tears.
"You're mad," she tells me. "I can tell you are angry with me." I quicken my pace down the back road from the park, and dodge into a storefront. She persists. "You can't treat other people like this when your mad. You can't run and hide, and pretend I don't exist." She followed me to the shelf with the trinkets on it. I finger the figurine of the little blue bear, while all I want to do is go and hide my head and cry. Anger, I'd been taught, was a shameful feeling.
She is my friend, and I don't want to hurt her. At least when she is angry with me, she talks in even tones, and expresses herself. She doesn't unleash her anger on me. In tenderness, she still makes me breakfast. She laughs at my jokes. She still thinks I am worth knowing. And I start to heal. Her love and kind truth balm up my brokenness teaching me about love, truth and forgiveness.
"You are angry," he tells me. And I admit it. "Yes, I am," I say. I ask for some personal space to process and he gives it to me. I've learned that anger can be felt and dealt with appropriately. But this choice not to feel him is a non-choice. Because eventually he brews venom and spits it, wrapping his nasty claws around his victims. To stew, to make a meal of him, and then pretend he doesn't exist only breeds bitterness. He does exist, and he and I have made peace, not through hot tears and hiding, but through truth in love.