We would like to think our angers, resentments, rages dissipate with age and understanding. After wrestling with their numerous causes, meditating on them, and having spiritual insights and realizations, one would think one was beyond such basic emotions. On to the next level is what we think. Not necessarily so, not necessarily so.
When we are threatened, or caught in a new trap, or violated, these emotions return on various levels. Even forgiveness, often seen as the cure for anger, is difficult when the disease or anguish we have continues to go unabated. Worse, as life strips illusions away, we are left with the reality of our unveiled situation and it is not often pleasant. In advanced years we see nakedly and bluntly. What has violated us has also stained us and is not easily eradicated.
A good description is the reactions have become elongated. Long periods of time can pass by without a particular anger triggered. We might even think it is gone. But when receiving the violation again, albeit from a parent or their memory or a sibling or a friend or a bureaucracy or anything, we find the same responses have not left. They have become like a long sword, thin and stretched out, but still reaching down and touching our insides.
The other night when not feeling physically well and feeling various pressures I found I was telling off various close people in my life for the umpteenth time. My God, nothing had changed. I was still angry and mad. When I recovered and had some perspective I was less harsh on myself. We might not change but our awareness and subsequent acceptance of all aspects of ourselves broadens. Perhaps what changes is our acceptance of all facets of ourselves which could be worse than we thought, along with accepting our potential growing realizations and truths. Such a mix.
I recall hearing, as I was not present, when my mom was passing and she was full of meds and pain and tubes and discomfort and her sanity was questionable, she expressed rage towards my father and sister, calling them names like 'stupid and cursing and more.' It was hard to hear about, probably harder to be there. Maybe there was some truth behind her words. After all, the net result of all the efforts of those around her led to this horrible final experience. What was left for her but brutal honesty? Doctors, family, even her own self could not excuse or cover anything up anymore. Often they just wanted to appear guiltless. The reality is she had trusted various people and institutions and behind that certain ideas and the result was suffering. So a demented anger honestly expressed itself.
The whole thing is humbling. We are not in control. Maybe my mom's final outrage was a lesson for us all. Our deep seated violations and scars stay with us until the grave. They are long, very long and last til our end. It is a vanity and arrogant to think we can control these underlying currents. Are any of us really better than my mom? Can anyone say that won't be them.? All we can do is become more cognizant of the whole picture. Truth is a long dagger into our guts. Somehow, even though unpleasant and only understood in small doses, good can emerge from this, even if just to know we are not in charge and something bigger than us is working itself out.