Anger and Peace

I have been, as I mentioned in an earlier post, thinking about my responses to the Testimonies.  I am trying to keep a log of anything which I feel is relevant but I am a little worried about what I find.

I have found this week particularly trying as far as the peace testimony is concerned.  I am tetchy and irritable and I can think of any number of reasons for it generally and for specific ‘spikes’ of irritation or even anger. 

Generally I think that part of it might be that I am dieting, so at times I am not able to ‘swallow’ my anger with food, which I think I quite often do.  I am also under the influence of hormones, which should wear off in a day or two anyway. 

Several things happened at work to make me look as if I was not doing my job properly. One of the them was down to me not checking my diary so I was late for an appointment – no excuses.  Then I was  was accused of not recording something which I was almost certain that I had, and when I got to a PC I was able to reassure myself that I had indeed sent an email.  My colleague who had not got round to acting on the email apologised, but by that time  the damage to my reputation had already been done. 

Following that another colleague told our manager  he had asked me for a very important piece of information that he had not received, and this was the cause of his inaction.  When I was asked I explained that I had sent an email  to the service department which is the correct procedure, and  which I had copied him into.  In hindsight, I realised that  it might have been better to put his name in the ‘to’ list.  In response the colleague said that he had not seen it (though the read receipt said otherwise).  It would have been exceedingly petty to have gone back to my manager half an hour later to say, “Here is the read receipt, he *did* read it!  He lied!”  Unfortunately this colleague is not the only one who will resort to such tactics.  I am always shocked by lying by colleagues.

I feel my reputation has been besmirched and I do not feel happy about it, and I think this has made me feel less ‘at peace with the world’.  My job is very important to me, and I do strive to be efficient at it.  I have not always been so efficient, and it took a long time to live down the ‘ good trainer, but a bit sloppy about the paperwork’ tag.  Now I am in danger of losing all the gains I have made and it is so annoying that mostly it is not my fault.  It is leaving me with a background level of dis-ease.

I have had quite a lot of rushing around recently and I find that this makes me tetchy.  When I am hungry, or am lost, or have lost something, or am late I am prone to un-Quakerly anger.   So after all this happening at work, a visit to the Chinese State Circus (which was excellent, btw) was heralded by a great deal of rushing around and a missed meal.  Added to the excitement of the performance; a hormone balance at 45 degrees and  the nervousness of having a former ‘back seat driver’ in the car, I suppose it was inevitable that the slightest comment that could possibly be construed as negative would unleash a tide of  self-righteous anger.

I feel out of touch with Peace.  When I have been having a quiet moment, when I have been trying to be peaceful, I have been finding it hard to find that peace.

How do I explain this to my fellow Quakers?  I imagine one or two of then will say ‘darn’ occassionally.  Some might even go as far as banging their fists on a table.  I shouted.  I was not, in any shape or form, fair.  I am not proud of this.

Someone at the group last week asked if we should log our thoughts on the lines of , “I met Peace” or even “I met Anger.” 

I didn’t so much meet Anger as sat down and had a three course meal with him. 

Where is Peace when you need him?

2 thoughts on “Anger and Peace

  1. I think the perception that it’s Quakerly in some way to be peaceful is a false one. It may be a value and we may only in extremis join any armed forces (many Quakers DID chose to serve in WWII, it was a matter of individual conscience), but it is not so much a personal attribution, more likely a worthy aim. For myself I have known plenty of Quakers who get plenty angry and “plain speaking” is recommended I think! Just last week my ex put some letters for me in the paper recycling and it had been collected when I looked for them – the air turned blue!! Don’t be hard on yourself. And I’m no great fan of dieting, but at least try to deploy slow burn carbs or something such that your mood is not adversely affected – otherwise, what’s the point?

    • Thank you, Paul

      I am not sure that the diet is actually the problem. I think if it is, it may be that it is more to do with psychology than physiology.

      Maybe my problem is that I tend to meet Quakers who are very peaceful and I am keen to eliminate un-peaceful acts and thoughts in myself. Violence, whether in thought or deed, is not really acceptable, and though I stop way beyond violence I am aware of an unquiet and unQuakerly current in me sometimes.


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