Principled Notes: Anger


The fire of anger is serious.  It can destroy, or it can purify. Sometimes, purification comes from destruction, but if we are not careful, fire can destroy and not purify.  I recently found myself at this grim crossroads due to a bad family situation.

In the wake of a recent death in our family, I was treated very badly by some family members.  To be blunt, I was pretty well screwed over. As this was all unfolding, I was forced to allow the very people who were mistreating me into my home multiple times.  It was tough, and i was very, very, very angry.  I was tempted to do all kinds of things.  Bar them from entering my property, hiding things so they couldn't take them, hexing, and all kinds of other things that a Witch might be temped to do.  I did a lot of meditating and reading and praying on it.  I weighed the pros and cons of each possible course of action.  I smudged. Oh, boy, did I smudge!  I had the cauldron and broom out and smoked the house out pretty thoroughly! I cast more than one protection spell on the house and on us.   I even fed the gargoyles and put them out to guard the house.

In the end,  I decided to take the high road but protect myself.  I responded to everything neutrally at the very least and with kindness when it was warranted, and after people were done being awful to me, I washed my hands of them. I slept much better as a result, and my health held up better.  See, the best thing to do with a raging fire is to contain it, smother it (remove available air,) and then spread the embers and let it die out.  Always, always keep an eye on it, but don't let it consume its container (in this case, the self.) When it goes out, spread the ashes and walk away...

...And that is just what I've done. People ask me a lot why I didn't take vengeful action, why I didn't do things a certain way, and I always tell them the same thing:  Because if I had, I would not be able to live with who I'd become.  I would not be able to live with the fact that I'd let some very unimportant people cause me to act against my ethics. It is not in my nature to deliberately harm another.  To compromise my ethics would be to harm myself.

All of this said, I recognize that fire is also a very useful tool and weapon, and I'm not afraid to use it to protect myself if I find myself in real danger.  I was never in real danger in this situation.  I was simply abused and disrespected.  I lived, though, and I learned a lot.  For that, I give thanks.

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