I have a 5 mile commute to work every day. It's a straight line on a back road, but yesterday I got caught in a traffic jam because some people just don't understand a 4-way stop. I idly looked out at the big field of the county airport and fussed and fumed about being stuck. A huge hawk flew past with a tiny black bird pecking its grievances out on the hawk's tail. I figure that didn't bode well for me or the hawk.
Today I saw that same hawk flying unencumbered by a pesky lesser being with a sharp beak. That seemed like a better sign. I wonder why the hawk didn't just turn around and eat the little bird, but I guess it figured it was just better to leave. Sometimes I feel like that too. Mostly I wonder why little birds want to pester me in the first place.
This is actually something I've thought about a lot of times because I swear I've been pestered to death by little birds while I tell them to just leave me alone. In case you're getting lost in the metaphor, I have been pestered to death by small people throughout my life. They manipulate, nag, belittle, charm... whatever methods work best for them for whatever motivates them. Sometimes I let my talons out and then nobody's happy.
I almost always regret losing my temper, and can self-punish about it for years afterward because I can be altogether too thorough in demolishing the source of my anger. It's hard to stay airborne when you're eviscerating a little bird and wrapping its entrails around its head while pecking its eyes out. See the pitiful little songbird flopping on the ground getting eaten by a bunny? Yes, I know bunnies are herbivores. Just makes it more sad.
I want to stay airborne. I want to feel like I'm living my best life and in my perfect world I'd never have to get angry about anything. I know real life includes some justifiable anger from time to time, and failing nirvana, I want to be able to express that anger without having to figure out where to hide the corpses. It seems simple enough until a little bird pecks me one time too many.
This probably makes it sound like I'm the kind of person who lays on the horn while tailgating on the freeway and brings a machine gun to the movies. I'm really not. I give lots of signs that the end is near if you don't cut it out. I think people don't believe me because I try to be nice most of the time. I actually very seldom lose my temper -- but when I do, it's memorable.
How to express anger constructively is something a lot of people, including myself, find difficult because we haven't seen enough positive examples. We're inundated with bad examples in every media and by the bullies on the playground or in business. It just doesn't make for a good book or movie plot to calmly talk out differences. The nice guy doesn't get elected or promoted.
I figure I'm a lifetime project, and this is one of my ongoing topics for improvement. All I can really do is set my intention that this hawk is going to stay airborne as much as possible.