I am currently reading a book by a psychiatrist who focuses on two areas that interest me greatly: Golf and the Mind.
Within this book, he mentions the word “kenosis” frequently.
When referring to kenosis, he discusses the “emptying of oneself”, as to obtain awareness that something is within you that is not of the nature and space that you want to be held within.
For myself, I have been pondering that concept as I maneuver through a time where a common emotion is anger.
Anger has always been an emotion that I never knew what to do with.
The two options to deal with the emotion of “anger”, as I learned growing up, were to either:
- Hold in the anger. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” was often in my mind when angry, knowing that externalizing the anger would likely not lead to something positive. However, letting it boil within and not dealing with the anger did not help. THIS WAS NOT THE BEST FOR ME.
- Let the anger out. This option has very rarely ever occurred in my lifetime. I have always had the fear that externalizing the anger will lead to words and/or actions that are crossing the boundaries that I set for myself and my character. I do not want an emotion or action to hurt someone. I knew this was also not the best for me.
So, what do I do with the anger then?
If internalizing it wasn’t good and externalizing it wasn’t good, what can I do?
Truthfully, until this week, I never once had a breakthrough with anger.
It was an emotion that I expected to never understand.
This week, I had that breakthrough.
Nothing out of the ordinary happened, but I found a pocket of my reflection that made sense.
I began to reflect on the activities/actions that I perform intentionally to reach goals or to better myself in areas of my life.
When I went through this list, I found actions/activities that I perform are attending to my health, my focus, my peace, my faith, etc.
When it came to the activity of “working out/going to the gym”, I found that it is a place where I release my anger.
The answer I have been seeking to dealing with anger isn’t just going to the gym, lifting a few weights, or running.
I found the answer being ACTION.
I have been a man who has always focused on words first, trying to put the pieces together in my mind or verbally.
I can’t just sit in anger and let it brood. I know this.
I can’t just immediately lash out the anger. I know this.
What I CAN do is use my actions to understand it.
For most of my life, the average workout was playing golf or P.E. class.
I didn’t go to the gym ever and I certainly didn’t know how to do anything once I was in the gym other than turn on the treadmill.
However, as I begin to spend more time in the gym, I am finding a place (an action) that is allowing me to work on my anger and understand it.
I would usually understand the source of the anger, but the next steps were never clear.
Like any emotion, I seek to reflect on it in some way.
Whether that is a round of golf, listening to music, writing a blog post… there are avenues I use to understand other emotions.
So, why not simply UNDERSTAND anger?
Instead of fleeing it or storing it, I have found a way to face it.
I am facing it by committing to an action.
Even if I am not presently feeling anger, I can reflect on my anger while I lift weights, go for a run, etc.
There is a place, or way of learning, that helps us in different ways.
I want to continue to seek action…
In all areas of my life.
To understand – to grow – to learn.
Anger is being met with action…
And it feels so good to have found it.
“I believe a few words can change your day and your life.”