Recently I had been very critical of someone that I’ve come to call my best friend. I found myself wanting to be right about many things, things I judged she ‘should’ be working on, things I was judging she was in denial about. I was not minding my own business. Not one bit.

I wrote her a letter. It was ballsy, risky, clever, a well-written Scott masterpiece, and full of righteous anger towards this person, channeled through my vastly superior brain.

Where was my humility? I did not know at the time. If you would have told me I was angry I would have said no, I was just trying to help her. How could I own my anger when I was stuck in my head about it, calling it passion, calling it tough love? It felt like a refreshing and powerful experience, to write and send it. I thought I was practicing trusting myself. I believed it was courageous to send it without going over it with my therapist and getting her feedback first, which is what I usually do with sensitive matters like this.

I read that letter to my therapist, a few days after the fact. She said it was a great venting letter, but not one to send. Oops! I made our friendship less safe. We cleaned up the mess eventually, and all is well. But, boy, that whole experience made me look at my relationship with anger, how I learned to suppress it in my body, and instead channel it through my intellect and my incredibly intelligent opinionated opinions.

I inquired in meditation:

Why would, how could, I justify doing such a thing? What came to me loud and clear was that I had been bullying her, not with my fists, but with my judgments. It was the mental and emotional equivalent of throwing punches.

And that’s when I remembered I had been bullied as a child, numerous times. It was a traumatic experience that filled me with fear and shame. I felt small, weak, and defenseless.

I re-experienced waves of shame that I swallowed at an early age and hid in a dark chamber inside myself where no one, including myself, could get to it.

So where do we go from here? A mind more in service of my heart, which cannot help but be filled with loving kindness.

Universe, make me a kinder, more compassionate person. Help me heal this tendency to bully. It made me feel powerful while growing up, to think I was smarter than my parents, smarter than anyone else. But in that defense strategy, I’ve pushed away love, support, tenderness, and companionship. My judgments are the armor I’ve worn so nobody can get to me. They can’t hurt me, but they also can’t love me.

Universe, today let me let love in, and let me feel and heal the trauma and pain behind righteous anger. Let me cease bullying myself and others. I’d rather be happy than right.

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