I am angry at someone who wronged me. What the reason is, who the person is, doesn’t matter. I am burning in a rage that wants vengeance, retribution. I want to rise from my anger like the Khaleesi from the fire in the final scene of the Game of Thrones. I want vindication. I want to command a dragon.
For a moment, I hunt for an excuse to act in anger. I call it justice. I call it fairness. But the realm of the legal and the realm of ethics do not always intersect.
If I act on my anger, I will act from a place of lack. The place of lack is a space without bottom; it cannot be filled. Not even with all my anger. I keep wanting to justify my anger. But in the very back of my mind, in a tiny, cramped space that avoided the flash-fire of anger, is a tiny window that lets in light. If I crawl to that space in my mind, I can see a dim, even light. And in the light, I recognize that any action that diminishes the person I am angry at, diminishes me.
If I choose to act from a sense of wholeness, from a place of the person I would like to be, then I have to let go the thought of retribution. I will not change the other person through anger, or vengeance, or punishment. I can choose only how I will conduct myself.
What about justice? Justice will appear if I act justly. What if it doesn’t? What if this person gets away with it? Then I have acted justly. Then I have acted not like I wanted to act when I was angry, but the way I chose to act when I was whole.
Yes, some people will laugh at me behind my back. Yes, I was tricked. But I chose to maintain my own integrity, my own reputation. I have walked the way I claim to think and believe. Right now it is not a willing walk, it is a limp and a bent-over burden, but it is the way I choose. I hold in my hand a seedpod. I have the power to grow from it what I choose, what I think.
–-Quinn McDonald is struggling with meaning-making. She is struggling to walk the talk. She would rather rise as the Khaleesi who commands the dragons. But she lives in Phoenix, and she teaches what she knows.
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