In the Osho Zen Tarot, there is a very instructive card called “Suppression,” or the Ten of Fire. In the more traditional Rider-Waite-Smith Ten of Wands, the card shows a heavily burdened man who is soldiering on, despite being overwhelmed. In the Osho deck, though, the figure is so tied in knots, he is unable to move. Yet all around him, there are ominous cracks. Whether we see it or not, and whether we choose it or not, there is eventually a breaking point and change must erupt.
It’s a reminder that we must pay attention to the ways that we might be thwarting and sabotaging our own power. When we deny our desire to be creative, we deny the most fundamental element of what power means. Such a denial can be a recipe for frustration, violence, depression, or disaster. Anger is the warning siren that tells us to act!
As Julia notes, “When we feel anger, we are often very angry that we feel anger. Damn anger!! It tells us we can’t get away with our old life any longer. It tells us that old life is dying. It tells us we are being reborn, and birthing hurts. The hurt makes us angry.
“Anger is the firestorm that signals the death of our old life. Anger is the fuel that propels us into our new one. Anger is a tool, not a master…
“Sloth, apathy and despair are the enemy. Anger is not. Anger is our friend. Not a nice friend. Not a gentle friend. But a very, very loyal friend. It will always tell us when we have been betrayed. It will always tell us when we have betrayed ourselves. It will tell us that it is time to act in our own best interests.
“Anger,” Julia insists, “is not the action itself. It is the action’s invitation.”
I so appreciated yesterday’s post, from “Queen of Swords,” who turned her anger into art. And then had the judiciousness to edit that art wisely. (That’s what Queens of Swords do, alright!). Her anger fueled action. Later, she could decide with more clarity what to do with the offspring of that anger. She didn’t skip the step of action. But she didn’t lash out in harmful ways, either.
Does anger figure into any of your recovery yet? What, or who, angers you? When provoked, what do you want to do? Can you take that reaction and turn it into creative expression that does not cause harm?
Tomorrow, we’ll deal with something even (sometimes) more challenging than our anger.