Posts Tagged With: spouse

Anger


I picked up various things from my father, some good, some bad. When I was younger, I wanted to eliminate every part of my father from my actions, thinking that even one part would turn me into him. I learned over the years that was a foolish idea, and that a bad thing can be turned good, if used properly.

An axe can chop wood to provide warmth, but the that same axe could murder your family, it all depends on the usage.

My father had utter devotion, but it was only to the church. I picked up that devotion from him, but I learned that what you devote yourself to can be harmful to those around you. So now I carefully examine what I devote myself to, and I do not devote myself utterly to one thing, but I try and spread it out. My family, my people, language, living a good life, being a good person, treating others well. These things I try to do to the best of my ability.

One thing I picked up from him was the possibility of great anger. When I was 15, my brother was teasing me, and I asked him to stop, then told him to stop, then I turned on him. The memory of this is one of the strangest I have, because at the time, I “blacked out”, and that was all I knew. Looking at this closely through the years, I recall that I “stepped back” away from myself. The anger I had built up over the years was so great, when let loose it took control of me. My arms swung, hitting him over and over, while I watched from the background unbelieving and shocked. When the anger I had built up had passed I regained control and stopped. The look on his face was something like utter shock. Luckily I did not hurt him other than a few bruises.

He told me later that I had a look on my face that was just like our father had when he would “go crazy” and start beating us.

That moment was a turning point for me. I decided with all the strength I had, I would never do that again, I was not going to become my father. So I set out to understand what triggered this act, and how to keep it from happening again.

What I learned, and this took many years and many confrontations, is that anger comes and goes. If you block that flow it will make a ball inside, like little mines, the more of these mines you have and the older they are, the more fragile and sensitive they get. In turn, your emotional state will react to this. If you are like me, and do not want to hurt another person, you will form a path through the mine field you walk every time you confront someone. If you are a person that doesn’t care if you hurt another person, you will get pushed into these mines because of words or actions you somehow relate to these mines, and these triggers will set off these mines, resulting in explosive anger.

A woman once described these to me as springs, and this would also be a very good description. A spring under tension, like a mouse trap.

I want to also clarify, that besides these mines, there are things that bring about a righteous anger. Things like a woman, child, or Elder being abused, disrespect of various forms, theft, murder, these things bring about an anger that seems directly related, in my view, to justice. If justice for these abhorrent acts is promised and fulfilled, that anger is satiated. If it is not, that anger will continue until justice is delivered, or you give up on justice being exacted.

Until that justice is delivered, anytime you are reminded of the injustice, the anger will return as fresh as the first time you experienced it. Unless you move away from requiring justice, the farther away you move from the requirement, the less the anger will be.

Now, back to the mines. These do not come from righteous anger, they come from misunderstandings, disallowance of differences, old grudges, etc., that you do not let go of, or work through.

These mines don’t care where their origins lie, or with whom, they will explode on anyone. It is each persons responsibility to keep this from happening.

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Men and love


I just finished reading a book by Wilma Mankiller titled everyday is a good day. For those of you who don’t know, Wilma was a chief of our people, specifically the Cherokee nation of Oklahoma. One of the best chiefs we’ve had in recent times, and some say the best.

In this book Wilma brought together women from many different tribes to discuss various issues and ideas. The aspect of this book I liked the most is they discussed. They state their point of views, but very few things they say must be done. Of those things they speak of their people, and the environment.

I would suggest this book to anyone, man or woman, it has great insight. I would also like to reiterate that the things said are the views of these women, and will not be how every first nations woman thinks or sees things.

One of the discussions in this book was about love and got me to thinking. It showed me new things, but also clarified and helped me understand things I had felt when I was younger.

It also partially inspired me to start this blog, to put my thoughts out there as a man raised in the American society. Another inspiration was a blog titled generation y by Yaoni Sanchez. A Cuban woman who goes through hardships daily to give herself a voice. Other inspirations were a brother of my heart, and sisters of my heart, that have helped me see the value of having a voice, and having a voice heard.

Growing up, I saw many men speak about gentleness as weakness. Using descriptions that implied any man who was gentle in any way was more woman than man, and not deserving of being called a man.

I didn’t understand this. As a boy my father was abusive, uncaring, and distant. What I wanted and needed from him was love. Grandfathers were much better at giving love than middle aged or younger men were. But that was also dependent on the grandfather. It also seemed easier for them to give love to a girl than a boy.

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, my sister had three children, two boys and a girl. I was told by many women, including my mother and sister, that it’s very important to love all the children the same. Boys are different from girls, but the love you have for them shouldn’t change or lessen for either. In trying to do just that, and in an attempt to not treat these boys like my father treated me, I gave them the same love I gave to my niece. I love each of them for their own personal traits, try and help them be good boys growing into good men. In just showing them the love I have for them, they still know I love them. They have not become girls or feminine in any way. But they can be caring and loving.

I think we men in America have learned a poor example as far as love goes. We do not have to be soft as far as being a pushover, or allowing yourself to be used. But you can show a gentleness as far as an understanding that a boy is not a man, and they are an innocent and deserve a protection because of that. As they grow they will encounter hardships as a part of life. But they should not have hardships thrown at them to “toughen them up”. Teaching them to recognize the protectiveness inherent in them and allowing them to discover where it applies through watching us, and their own actions, can develop a great strength that works off of that love for their family and others they wish to protect.

Love from a man can be applied differently than a woman applies it. But a woman is different than a man, and that in itself is a whole other blog. But it does not mean a man cannot love or should not love in great amounts.

In the way we treat a woman, a love can be applied without them being the woman that put us in their heart for the rest of their life as a wife. We can love a woman for being a woman and the way she acts with us and others because of it. I think we also need to understand that this love for an aspect of a woman does not mean they are “the one” for us. We can love our mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters, and we do not desire to take them as a wife. The same can be done with a friend and we can love them like a sister.

But in giving that love, we will learn from them their differences and see that they fit to us in a way that balances us out. We see that women in their way see the world differently than we do, and can teach us many things that we cannot see, and don’t normally occur to us.

I think it’s also imperative that we protect that difference of women. Losing it, we lose a better part of ourselves. Not to mention a way of caring for children that we men cannot produce. Also a giving nature that is essential to society.

Beyond and a part of all this, it is much more difficult sometimes to love in the midst of struggles. We men tend to get a hardness when faced with a struggle, and although it is an important tool, it can also be a deficiency in certain situations. Sometimes war, sometimes peace, without the ability to love fully, we cannot find the peace in ourselves, or find the piece with others.

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