Anger is a very powerful emotion that blocks the natural light that I see in others. I pray each day that I bring the light of Christ to others through the light that I emit. In Mass before Eucharist, and after the penitential prayer, I pray, “Lord make me a worthy temple so that I may see your light in each person I encounter and be your light to each person in need”. When I am angry, I am blocked from light, either seeing it or being it. I find it hard to pray when I am angry and even harder to function in relationship with others and God. My heart does not hurt because it is blocked from feeling anything but anger.
I was trying to find a way to clear the anger out of my body, a cleansing so to speak. The image of a spider and a spider’s web formed. A spider weaves their web with one purpose in mind – a means of attracting a tasty morsel. Some spiders build their webs each night and take them down by day; other spiders build a permanent web, only rebuilding or repairing it out of necessity. Spiders are clever as they produce threads of their webs for capture and others for safety. They can navigate the web without peril. A spider will quickly move to wrap up the prey, without concern for becoming caught in their own web. Web properties preserve the blood of their victim as food for later, if necessary. When the time is right they will suck the blood for a scrumptious meal.
This imagery is natural and beautiful, part of the cosmic order of life. However, when applying the same imagery to human anger, the beauty of nature takes on an ugly and unappealing form. I found myself to be a spider, but instead of weaving a web for nourishment, I was weaving it to capture and feed my anger. Each time I tried to take down my web of anger, I found a reason to rebuild it or repair it. I was destroying the natural light that emanates from me. Survival was not even a thought, nor was destruction. Anger was my only thought. Each day as I would rebuild my web, I would seek out any tiny incident, a tasty morsel to fed my wrath. I would wrap it up in my web and suck the blood right out of my prey. I became far too successful at hunting down each meal, nourishing and encouraging my need for blood. This need to suck the life from others was also sucking the life from me. The range of things that made me angry included interactions with my spouse, traffic, and politics, even inanimate objects. Nothing was outside of my sticky web, navigating was easy. Blame everyone else while refusing to take responsibility for hunting and capturing my prey, without regard to the insignificance of the prey. My web made life unbearable as my anger continued to grow with the need for a new victim.
Light, like anger, takes on a life that seeks more light. The wounds of Christ are always before me and I have responsibility for the bloody mess I have created. I was deepening each wound of Christ and of my spirit as I wrapped up my prey. I needed to find a way out of my own web. I needed to stop rebuilding every day and find a gentle spot to reset and rest. I am an instrument of love, of God’s love. I had abused my friends, my spouse, and my God. How was I going to reconcile this behavior? I am a good person, thoughtful and loving. How was I going to stop so that I could be in relationship with God, my spouse, and friends. I kept going over this imagery in my mind, and trying to pray. Each time I turned toward what I know to be truth, prayer came easy. Each time I placed the real needs of others before me, I could set my prey free.
My spouse, in his infinite wisdom, relayed my struggle to a few close friends. A friend called me offering her love and devotion as an agent for God’s love. Immediately I found myself on the cusp of giving over my anger. When alone, I talked to the Holy Spirit. I decided that if I love, then while there may be pain sometimes, there would never be a bloodletting. I do not presently have a relationship with my earthly shepherd. I am sure that he does not know my smell, but I have a community that does know me. My spirit has been lifted from darkness to light. My focus is clear and my love is returning in abundance. It is my prayer that my imagery and light may help others, lost in the milieu of earthy life, to seek their connection to the spirit and help them to let go of anger. Suffering because of anger is unnecessary and counter-productive to love.
(For a psychological approach in dispelling one from anger check out this article by Gary Trosclair – Transforming Anger Addiction: How to Use Political Anger Constructively http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58d3c540e4b099c777b9df41 )