Mark had a nightmare a couple of nights ago. Part of it involved him being separated from me, him trying to get back to me and him being unable to communicate with me until a number of hours had passed. As I read his description of his nightmare that Mark had recorded in his journal, the line that touched me the most was the one that described my emotions upon him being able to finally get in touch with me. Mark noted that I was "not angry," just very sad.
Angry. Anger. I was saddened as I read this because it reminded me of the times that I have been angry with Mark. For stupid reasons. And it also reminded me of a lifetime of being angry. I don't recall being an angry child or teenager. I think I repressed any anger I felt as part of the role I played as a perfect child (who could not express anger towards his parents and what they were doing to him for fear of losing their love). I really don't recall anger entering my life until I was on my mission. And then in my marriage.
And my children suffered because of the anger I felt. I really didn't know or understand the cause of the anger at the time. Then I gradually realized that some of it was probably due to the repressed anger of my childhood and youth at being a victim of my mother's anger. There were other causes, primarily attributable to the tremendous pressure I felt as our family continued to grow and my marriage grew increasingly troubled.
I have apologized to my children for the fallout they suffered as a result of my anger issues. Several times. I'd like to do so again. Publicly.
I think one of the other causes of my anger is that it made my ego feel good. It became part of who my ego saw as me. And as I read Mark's words, an insight dawned upon me that led to a decision. I realized that I have wasted far, far too much time and energy on anger in my life. I am choosing not to wallow in anger anymore. Anger may arise, but I will not let it take hold of me and use me like it has in the past. I will look at it, then let it go. I saw - in that brief moment of insight - how the ego uses anger. I will not let that happen again. It's not worth it.
I feel like this lesson in anger is a major breakthrough for me. I don't want to be remembered - by anyone - as an angry person, but as a calm, loving person. I have unfortunately planted memories to the contrary in my older children, and I know those cannot be erased. But it is my hope that they might be crowded out, eventually, by memories of me as my true self.