listen to your rage

Listen to your rage
and hear the ache underneath—
the excruciating gap between
“should be” and “is actually.”
Sometimes we call it grief.

Feel it in your body—
a burning, consuming flood of adrenaline
priming you for action
because “is actually”

When your rage collapses,
listen for its wisdom.
Let it tell you what it wants
as you thoughtfully consider,
“What is underneath, dear one?”

Rage is the outspoken one
who often gets shoved to the front of the group
by other emotions who would prefer
Rage to be the spokesperson.

Those other ones behind Rage
thought they were too weak,
too ordinary,
too quiet
to get your attention.
“We’re so afraid,” they might say,
or “It hurts too much to be seen,”
or “We’ve been quiet for so long,
now we might explode—
a burst of life in defiance of death,
an attempt to come off of life support.”

When you listen to your rage,
the task is to discern:
Is this the energy I needed to take action?
What boundary has been violated?
Is it a distraction from those other 
tender feelings I’ve been afraid to feel?
Or is it simply a pit stop
on the road to acceptance?

~Lindsay L. O’Connor

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