I’ve addressed this previously, but I felt it required a separate entry, so here goes: While anger and fear are two separate words with two different definitions, they are highly correlated. I never used to think of myself as an angry person; I suppose because I never had an inkling to stab somebody with an ice-pick or because I’m not the type to scream and yell at anyone. As it turns out, I don’t really know what the words I use actually mean; I just speak them hoping that somebody understands what I’m saying. Typically, they do understand, but I’m still improperly using speech. In any case, the definition of anger is “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.” Strong feeling of annoyance or displeasure? By definition of the word, I am angry toward everybody and everything.
I knew I was afraid of a multitude of things. Understandable, I feel; as there is a lot to be fearful over. Death, public speaking, public humiliation, dying alone, bills, snakes, ghosts, demons, God himself, the Golden Knights winning a Stanley Cup, and anyone can increase the list ad infinitum (don’t tell me that I don’t read, old-timers). Actually, there is such a wide array of things to be afraid of that it makes more sense to, instead of listing all of them, admit that I am just an “afraid person.” Period.
Anger and fear have distinct meanings, but anger is fear. For example, somebody shared a story with me the other day that detailed somebody else judging them. It made her angry to be judged. Of course, it did. Who enjoys being judged? There is a slight dissimilarity betwixt “judge” and “criticize,” but again, we don’t exactly know what words mean; we just use them. When people offer critiques these days, they do so with a clear opinion or take on whatever it is that they are critiquing, rendering their critique a judgment. What is it about being judged that pisses me off so much? The answer is simple; it fills me with fear – a fear that suggests that maybe one is correct in their judgment of me. Scary stuff, that, when somebody you don’t particularly like is right about you..
The root cause of anger and fear boils down to a lack of faith. A lack of faith in a Higher Power, surely, but also a lack of faith that perhaps I will not be able to overcome whatever it is that I am afraid of or whatever it was that was pointed out to me. There’s a line people love to use, which is something to the effect of “what other people think of me is not my business.” What grandstanding this is! You know, what other people think of me is only not my business if they happen to be wrong. If they happen to be correct in their assessment, then it is absolutely my business, and not only is it my business, it is my responsibility to address. This adage that one shared with me recently has become embedded in my mind: “Anger is fear, and fear is a lack of faith.” Anger and fear are only symptoms of a more significant problem – my lack of faith in the present moment. Smell another rose today.