Tuesday, April 22, 2008

grace in giving up

I was feeling a bit emotionally hungover today after my blowout yesterday, and I had to really consider what happened and how to avoid that kind of meltdown in the future. Because really, it doesn't feel good to let of steam like that: I look like an overgrown and crazed 3-year old, stuff gets destroyed, and whatever sets off the rage in the first place isn't fixed. And it's kind of funny because like a real hangover, I feel guilt for my failings-- wasting my time, taxing my husband, breaking pots. Also, my face was all puffy today from all the crying, and I'm very vain so that made me feel bad too.

I recognize that most of my life I've let anger be my default setting when I come up against challenges. I used to think that my anger made me powerful, but I was wrong. My anger just makes me feel helpless, and for a kicker it also shows the world all of my weaknesses.

At times I can be an enlightened creature, and and I've learned to see that anger coming and set my focus on what can be done to improve the situation, not on what is pissing me off. Staying calm, and concentrating on breathing in oxygen in a measured way. The more I practice this exercise, the easier it is to let things go, secure in the knowledge that whatever uncomfortable feeling I'm having is likely just temporary.

There is so much more grace in just giving up sometimes. And it is so much harder when you have a big, gigantic, hard head like mine.

To finish off this episode, a word from Free Will Astrology:
Is there really such a thing as free will, or are our destinies shaped by forces beyond our control? Here's one way to think about that question: Maybe some people actually have more free will than others. Not because they have more money. (Many rich folks are under the spell of their instincts, after all.) Not because they have a high-status position. (A boss may have power over others but little power over himself.) Rather, those with a lot of free will have earned that privilege by taking strong measures to dissolve the conditioning they absorbed while growing up. They've acted on the advice of psychologist Carl Jung: "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." As you enter the phase of your astrological cycle when more free will is yours for the taking, Leo, meditate on these thoughts.


  1. I went to a therapist once (OK, 3 times). Basically I learned that I'm a control freak. Lack of control=anger. Anger=lack of control. So, from those three meetings I took away one thing: just let it go. It's so hard sometimes, but when it comes to little stuff, it's the best feeling to know that it doesn't consume you to the brink and therefore...dum dum dum... you're a little more in control :) I'm sure my doctor would frown at that last bit.

  2. Leo...me too... Uh oh...
    explains alot... even after I said that yesterday. total meltdown today... back to working on it... being conscious.

  3. Shirley9:25 AM

    You are human, which means that you will have days where you feel happy, sad and angry. Most of the time, it sounds like you do maintain your composure. So, yesterday was one day where you didn't. I have days like that too. Big deal, no one is perfect. Your open, honest and reflective posts keeps me coming back.

  4. Anonymous12:59 PM

    Pot and beer, Whit. Pot and beer. It'll all be better with some pot and beer.

  5. hell yes. you have convinced me to gracefully give up my mother-in-law, because frankly she makes me way too angry and it's just not worth it.

    jt, pot and beer doesn't work for anger like single malt scotch does.

  6. Sidney11:07 PM

    You on a board jumping up and down made me laugh out loud. Sorry to say it, as I know it was not very funny at the time, and clearly a little guilt inducing the next day. Mostly I laughed because I saw myself doing the very same thing and it felt good to be able to reflect on my own ridiculousness. I appreciate all of your humanness. I admire your willingness to reflect on how to be better at it. I am inspired by the idea of being as full of grace as you. And if all else fails there is always booze.

  7. Glad to hear that I am not the only one that has tantrums! Take the good and the bad. Work through it and celebrate the greatness in you!

  8. ceruleanblue9:01 AM

    What does it say about us (potters)
    that we work at perfecting a piece,
    throwing, glazing, waxing, decorating, etc., then put the work
    in a kiln, and subject it to
    intense heat, and hope it all turns
    We are gamblers, risk- takers, at
    heart, and things can go well or
    not, in every kiln load.

  9. Evelin Richter11:05 AM

    Let go of the guilt! There truly is grace in "letting it go You are a wonderful, creative, (I'm sure your husband thinks sexy- despite the puffy face) human being, engaged in the living of LIFE. Today is a new day. Appreciate all the good things in your life, and carry on. You are doing great.

    an admirer, Ev

  10. There is nothing more sickening than that UN-satisfying crashing sound- especially in the studio- those days are just so bad.