Anger has always been an issue for me. My personality type gets overwhelmed very easily and when that would happen I simply lashed out like an angry tiger. I may not even have been really mad but frustrated about a situation. Luckily it usually took a while for the tiger inside me to work up enough steam to blow, but when it did it was not a pretty sight. My angry outbursts are among my biggest of regrets in life.
Now that I have time to reflect I look back on those days when the tiger controlled me. Like so many people, I was over-stressed, always broke, behind on bills, not satisfied with work, felt sick all the time and my to-do list was ever growing. I felt like I was never staying afloat, let alone getting ahead. I looked around and saw friends who seemed to have it all together while I felt as if I was unraveling a little more every day.
Sadness and depression enveloped me and I could not see an out to the way I was feeling. That made the tiger even madder. It was a vicious cycle that seemed to never end. When I knew the house was going to be lost to the bank and a new life had to start, I was felt crushed. I tried to be excited about the uncertainty of it all. Inside I turned into a scared child. I pretended to be okay but the fear was overwhelming. The tiger was ready to strike at any time. I prayed for an end, even if it meant the end of me. Extreme, I know, but I was completely hopeless all the while showing a smile on the outside.
Fast forward about six months. Things have settled down for the time being. I found a job that makes me happy and makes me want to be there even on my days off. I found a nice, quiet place to live and the tiger inside of me is at rest. I still get overwhelmed. When you work with the public, things are going to happen and people are going to push, but for the most part I have enjoyed everyone I have met so far on this journey.
I realize now that the stuff I thought I took comfort in actually feed the fuel for the tiger. The things overwhelmed me as did the bills to pay for those things. In my dark and alone times, I thought of how to live without all the stuff but my ideals were unrealistic. When I realized that I became upset all over again. Now after living a very simple life for a while, I am rejoicing in the lack of things. Lack used to mean something negative to me, now it is a goal to reach. I now find comfort in little things like a soft blanket or a really good cup of coffee. I no longer need the fancy coffee maker to make the coffee, I will leave that to someone else. As long as I can find a way to wash, I have my three t-shirts and two pairs of pants are just right. Everything I own fits in one suitcase. Lightness has overcome the darkness and I actually feel as if I can breathe again.
The process felt like I was in labor for about six months. There were times when the pain manifested it self physically. My eyes ached from crying, my muscles hurt and my voice was hoarse from yelling at God. Now I wake up without an alarm clock, not fretting the day, but rejoicing that God did not listen to me and end me all those months back. The smile then was forced and fake, the smile today is real and genuine for the first I can remember. The tears I cry now are happy tears.
Not everything is perfect, I still experience sadness and am lonely at times, but what happens when the good days start to outnumber the bad days. Life becomes a totally different animal. No longer am I tied to an angry tiger and that feels good.
I used to think I could not live without this or that, but when you start to live without this or that you have more room for happiness and love. All my experiences in life, good and bad, have gotten me to here. I cannot express what it feels like to actually have a second chance. I could never feel gratitude before because I was so miserable, now I am thankful for everything.
Here is to saying goodbye to the angry tiger and hello to the…..cute and fuzzy bunny (?) inside of me. Wishing you happiness and love in your life too!