I never thought of myself as an emotional person. I thought I was a relaxed, calm guy. I thought I was able to separate my emotions from a situation. I thought I could view events and people as they are. I thought I was better than others. I thought I had risen above the human weakness of emotionality. I thought I was free from slavery to my emotions.
But I was wrong. I was so wrong that I didn’t even understand how I was wrong.
Why do I need to be free of emotionality? Why have I framed my problem as slavery to emotions? Why is having emotions wrong or a sign of weakness?
I looked smugly at others, thinking that they were blinded. I thought others were running away from conflict, running away from difficult conversations and difficult decisions. But, I was running away, too.
I realize now that I have a strong temper, that I am prone to shutting down in the face of a challenge that makes me angry. I run away to collect myself and my thoughts, to bring my anger under control. Once I’m done, I can once again face the challenge with a calm mind and open heart. It’s good that I’ve developed the ability to face the challenge after a cool-down period, but I need to get better at recognizing that I am facing a challenge that requires my full, immediate attention. Running away prevents me from making any bad decision in the heat of the moment, but it also creates a new challenge to overcome. It also prevents me from immediately overcoming the challenge.
But, again, why frame it that way? This is what I meant when I said that I didn’t even understand how I was wrong.
Why frame my anger as an inhibitor to overcoming adversity?
New frame: I am passionate and loving. I want the very best for myself and the people I love. My anger is a signal. It is a primal force communicating something to me. It’s telling me, “Stand your ground.” It’s telling me, “This needs your full attention immediately.” It’s telling me, “Embrace the ones you love.” It’s telling me, “This is your shot at glory. FIGHT!” My anger is a bubbling, roiling clump of energy and light. It gives me strength, courage, and direction. My anger is beautiful, and with it I will build the future I want.
Why suppress my anger, when I can love and embrace it instead?
And now that I’ve embraced my anger, I can embrace the anger in others. When they fight, I can respect their courage. When they fight, I can respect their force of will. When they fight, they show me what’s truly important to them. When they fight, I can see myself in them. Maybe they’re wrong, maybe I’m wrong. Whatever the case may be, we’re both fighters. The world is a better place with both of us in it.
Why suppress others’ anger, when I can love and embrace it instead?
The firmware has been upgraded to the latest version.
That’s Gorilla Mindset.