Thunderstorms in the Dirty South

I grew up in the bible belt of the dirty south. We sure do know how to do thunderstorms down here. I love a couple of days of rolling, cleansing storms. The south starts to heat up in the springtime and the skies get angry. You can almost see the vegetation become lush before your very eyes. It’s the most peaceful, beautiful anger.

Unlike the anger that I have held trapped in my body for my whole life. I was born with anger, it was at the core of the ovum I grew from. Throughout my life, I realized, I had to find a way out of the anger that was handed down to me from my mother. Her father gifted it to her, and his to him. Sometimes, I want to trace it back for as far as it goes. But I cannot go searching for something that I have worked so hard to get rid of.

Separating yourself from the conditioning of childhood is a strenuous task. It took me years of observing and getting to know myself. The most difficult part is self-awareness. Seeing yourself for who you truly are. For the majority of years that I have been alive, I had not loved my self. I am blessed to have the clarity of self to correct areas that bring me shame or dis-grace. Most people walk around never knowing who they truly are, or try to be better.

For the past two years, I have been stripping myself down, shedding years of unwanted beliefs. Qualities that were given to me by those who had them given to them. Does the line of anger go as far as my German ancestors who arrived in America by boat? Were they trying to outrun their anger?? Does the stream of anger that used to belong to me reach the whole way back to the stone age? Again, I cannot investigate further, I cannot search for my anger.

I held my anger close to me, right next to my heart. It would ignite and burn in my chest so hot, so fast. I sat with it and studied it for a long while. Everything worth anything takes a long while. Now I can notice the thought that precipitates the igniting. I can quit before it has even begun. What a gift, being able to extinguish anger. Most people let themselves burn.

I can’t extinguish the flame completely. I have to hold on to some anger. For the inequalities, racism, and people full of hate. I have to hold on to a little bit of anger for survival. For my sister, who couldn’t pull herself from the grasp of suffering. Hold on to a bit for the bullies, and the plain ole assholes. Just a tiny bit for those who abuse.

Or.

Or I could let go of a tiny bit of that because the anger doesn’t fix the bullies. It cannot correct hatred or love. It can only serve to burn my heart, that it sits so very close to. I could let go of a tiny bit more because I know that underneath it all, we are all doing the best we can. Oh how I wish my sisters best looked better, she’s doing the best she can. A bit more anger freed because it no longer serves me.

I have extinguished a flame that has been burning since long ago. The flame that made it the whole way to experience thunderstorms in the dirty south.

Do not repeat negative behaviors from generations before you.
Do not burn your heart.
Let the anger go…all of it.

This is my prayer for us.

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