I was sitting at my desk giving myself permission to follow any thought that came into my mind. I wasn’t reaching for a specific destination, just kind of waiting to see what would show up.
An image appeared. It was an old-fashioned typewriter, perhaps a Remington. For those unfamiliar with these, allow me to explain briefly. You have to insert a piece of paper, threading it carefully so that when you turn a knob, it the paper into view. Each time you hit the return arm, it advances the paper and returns its position to the far left. There are several rows of individual buttons with letters, numbers or characters and you have to depress them to print on the paper. As you depress a button a long metal arm raises up and strikes an inked cloth ribbon, which makes an impression on the piece of paper.
Using this kind of typewriter is more of an art than a science. If you happen to hit multiple buttons at the same time, the striker arms will lock together, forcing you to separate them and start over.
If you hit a wrong button, you have to correct your mistake, which would mean inserting a piece of ‘correct tape’ over the mistake and hitting the same button again to make the page white, ready for the correct letter.
Believe me, it was maddening if you were only a marginally capable typist like me. I remember needing quite a bit of correct type to fix my errors.
Recalling this, I discovered I was still in touch with how angry it sometimes made me.
The next image that came to me was somewhat bizarre. I imagined hitting a series of different buttons. Each time I hit a letter, I sensed a whole word appear and felt its depth.
H…helpless, F…frustrated, A…afraid, V…vulnerable, B…blamed, I…inconsiderate, D…danger.
What was happening? It took a moment to realize there was a pattern here. Each of these words represented a source of anger for me. I sat back to consider and saw more letters appear. I…insecure, O…oppressed, H…hopeless, M…mean, E…expectations.
Wow, the last one caught me off guard. It had more juice than the others. I wondered why?
To gain some clarity I decided to ask Lia, a divine feminine voice that offers me spiritual insight.
“What gives,” I asked, “can you help me understand my anger better?”
“Yes,” she responded adding, “anger is one of your egos most effective tools.”
“Really,” I questioned?
“Your ego’s chief role is to protect you. It’s important though to understand my use of the word ‘you’ here. Over the course of your life your ego has established firm boundaries. It does this to provide you with a sense of safety.”
“From whom,” I asked?
“From everything ‘not you’. To do this your ego builds what I’ll call ‘expectation models’. You create these models to determine what is acceptable to you. All things which do not fit within your expectation models are seen as ‘threats’ and will often manifest anger in you.”
“Are you saying that my sources of anger are triggers for me and that they arise because they’re identifying events outside my expectations of the way I think things should be?”
“Yes, exactly. All anger occurs when there is a gap between what you expect to happen (based on your expectation models) and what you think/believe you want to happen. The wider the gap, the greater the fear and consequently, the amount of anger that appears.”
“So, what I’m actually doing is protecting my self-image so that I feel safe, right?”
“Yes, although a part of you knows better. It senses there is a better way.”
“Which is,” I asked?
“If your aim is to live a joyful, contented, happy life, it would be wise to begin relaxing your expectation models. When a trigger arises, consciously recognize how you feel and decide if this feeling serves you in some way. Does it bring you joy? If it does not, make a conscious decision to release your anger, in favor of living a joy filled life.”
“Living a joy filled life is my greatest desire, so I’m going to do as you suggest. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me.”