A Thinking Man

What Men May Want to Know


By Don Wright

We don’t usually want to make people mad, but more importantly we don’t want people mad at us.

But what is being “mad?” A definition could be, “a feeling of being overcome by intense anger.” But how is one, “overcome” by a feeling unless one allows that feeling the opportunity to grow or manifest?

It seems at times that our feelings are not unlike a leaf in the wind being blown about in any direction, almost as if we have no control over them. Feelings of happiness, love, sadness, compassion, peace, and more are strange inasmuch as we never know what direction they are going to come from, how long they will stay, or when they might disappear like a magician’s trick.

Many of us go through our lives seemingly at the will of our feelings, never questioning, or even knowing that you could question a feeling. Is this feeling valid? Is this feeling beneficial? Is this feeling controlling my thoughts, my views, my relationships? Are there any choices in how I view my feelings?  Choices I might make that allow me to be happier, healthier, more desirable?

On the path to higher forms of thought you will find that all of these questions are valid and that at it’s very root is the answer that, yes, you have a choice. Mental health issues aside, when a particular feeling manifests within us, we have the option of embracing, inflating, minimizing or dismissing. It’s a personal choice. And not one that most of us want to make. It’s much easier to think that others make us happy, make us loving, give us peace or piss us off.

But the reality is that even though an initial feeling may manifest from a number of reasons, you are solely responsible for the nurturing or ignoring of it. But it’s work. It’s so much easier to allow ourselves to be batted about like a volleyball, and there’s no end to the players that are willing to take a smack at that ball. Children, friends, family, advertisers, the media and our beloved government officials all use our feelings and emotions to their advantage.

But in considering the particular feeling, being mad, we most often feel that someone or something “made” us mad. We hear it all the time, “He made me mad – that makes me so mad – I’m mad at them.” However, at the root of it all is the decision to be, “mad.” No one can make you be anything you don’t want to be. Of course others may bring about or create the “conditions” that are not to your liking, such is life. You have the choice during those times to get involved to create your idea of a better condition or accept what is from the position of the observer. Giving away precious real estate in your mind to being mad is a way of trying to manipulate the situation into getting what you want, as any married man will attest (in confidence of course).

If we’re to embrace the notion that when someone is mad, either at us or another, it is a personal choice that they have made. And here’s the rub, it’s a personal choice – it’s their business. Not our business. If someone chooses to be mad, it’s unfortunate, but it’s something that they obviously want to do, and as long as they’re an informed, consenting adult that is not stealing ours or other’s peace with it, then we should respect their misery.

Consider this scenario. I have a neighbor with a mentally challenged grown child. A very sweet and polite kid. Wonderful parents. I’m working the back forty when I hear the father scream the child’s name in anger and frustration from the open garage. Obviously the child had forgotten that the family was in the car and waiting on him. The kid emerges from the back door and be-bops into the garage with a smile and no worries in the world. Oblivious that anyone might be angered with him.

That got me to thinking. Imagine what life would be like if we didn’t have the capacity to see that someone was mad at us. Life threatening situations aside, what would it mean? I think it would mean the end of being mad as we know it. When we’re mad, it only has value if there is someone else around to realize we’re mad. If you don’t think that’s true, consider how long you’d be mad if you were by yourself on a desert island. Not very long.

So stop and consider if you’re willing to give precious real estate to any negative emotion. Sure there will be times when it will sneak up on you, but allowing that seed to be planted and stay there long enough to germinate is your decision. Pull it out by the roots.

There’s an important difference in whether you are suppressing or dismissing. Suppressing can be more debilitating than expressing. Dismissing however is the equivalent of realizing it does not exist.

Our egos want us to be mad. As long as we’re mad or feeling anything negative or of a low vibration, we’re not able to focus on the ego. Our ego is like the wizard of Oz, there’s nothing to see here, don’t pay any attention to the man behind the curtain. But like the wizard, our ego knows exactly what buttons to push to keep us off-balance. It’s like being a boxer in the ring, as soon as you get your footing, you’re hit from another direction. You feel helpless, but you’re not.

All you have to do is step out of the ring.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe: rss | email