How Civilized Men Behave


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I let my inner anger out to play.  I didn’t mean for it to happen.  I blame the moon.

You see, it was the day of the lunar eclipse.  And my mother, who has a mythology of her own choosing, selectively involving ghosts, ESP, and astrology at the most random of moments, warned me.  Someone at her yoga studio told her the eclipse could make us tired, and whether because of the lunar pull on all the water in my body or the subconscious pull of her suggestion on my mind, I slept 11 hours on Tuesday night and still could barely get out of bed Wednesday morning.

And I had this assigned reading to do for my coaching group, the lovely and talented ladies of SBQM.  It was all about the shadow self, that part of us that we try to hide, that repels and repulses us, which we pretend doesn’t exist.

So I’m reading, quietly, and suddenly I’m furious.  I’m in an absolute rage.  I’m worn out, and exhausted, and sick of trying to be so good all the time.  I’m over unraveling my feelings, I’m done with discovering my deeper self, and I’m 100% blinded by the sudden anger I feel toward this poor woman whose words have me seething.

How many times have I shoved my heel in her mouth, bit down on her tongue, slammed the door in her face?  How often have I dug my fingernails into her arm, shot her daggers across the room, hissed at her in a low voice in the corners of my mind?

She is unrepentant and unforgiving.  She is as petty as the shallowest people I’ve ever met.  She can wish harm unto others that is, literally, criminal.  She can inflict pain, harsh pain, because she is wickedly clever and brilliant in her cruelty.  Words about another Sweeney come to mind “never forgot and never forgave.”  She feels hurt and rage like white-hot steel.

She terrifies me.

Wednesday night, I unchained the lock and she kicked down the door.  And in the closest-thing-you-get-in-New York-to-privacy of my apartment, she hissed and spat and kicked and screamed.

I did.  I hissed and spat and kicked and screamed.

And when it was over, I felt the opposite of what I expected.  I felt strong and clean and energized.

Sometimes when we are tired, it’s because we are depleted of energy.  And sometimes, I think, it’s that we have too much pent-up, untapped, and the effort of holding it back is what causes the fatigue.

I don’t know what it means yet.  I think it means I could stand up for myself more, for my whole self.  Then maybe the next time I open the door, I will see a familiar friend in the face reflected back at me.

Be well.