The Snarling Lion

We all have it inside us. That ferocious beast, that irrational being, the snarling lion of anger. Normally mine is subdued, peaceful, at rest. Chained by the rationality of my mind.

Not now.

Anyone who has followed my blog will see I am all about looking for the positive, the hope, finding inspiration. Those people will also see I’m real. I’m not always like that. I don’t always have the answers. I’m not like Buddha, or Jesus, or Muhammad. I’m a flawed human being just like the rest of us with our foibles and imperfections.

Sometimes I am just struggling through. Trying desperately to find the right path and stay on it. Sometimes I find it hard just to see where that path is. Sometimes I’m just waiting for a new day, a new sense of perspective, a new hope.

In a way this is one of those sometimes. In another it isn’t.

Something happened this afternoon. It wasn’t even anything major. It involved my son.

It has left me bubbling under the surface. Bubbling with a certain degree of anger. A feeling to lash out. I haven’t. I don’t think I will. We’ll see how the day goes.

Thing is, that little incident has made me realise something about myself. I’ve talked before about how my son is my reason for driving myself on to being better. How he gives me my sense of purpose. How that gives me strength.

I’ve just realised how he can be my source of weakness also. When I see my boy hurting, feel the emotional pain he is in, I just want to lash out. Not physically I might add. I don’t like violence. But verbally. Verbally I can be downright destructive, unrelenting, almost savage. Verbally I can let my lion run free and no one is safe when he is on the loose.

Since my ‘wife’ and I separated my boy hasn’t seen his granddad on her side of the family in months. I thought today we would try a little visit. It was only going to be short. No more than 10 minutes. It was all he would agree to and I didn’t want to push him any further. I knew his grandparents would be more than happy to see him no matter how little the time was.

We made it to the house. It is only a mile up the road. He had even got out of the car. But then he saw his mother’s car and someone else’s we didn’t recognise. He wasn’t expecting that and got so worked up he started crying. I certainly didn’t want to put him through that level of upset so we quickly jumped back into the car and came home.

When I got home there was a text from his mother. She was just saying what she was doing that morning, what she planned to do that evening, and asking how her son was.

I told her about the failed visit. About the upset.

Now if that had been me receiving the news the first thing I would have done was drop everything I was doing and come and see my boy. As far as I would be concerned everything else could wait.

Needless to say that wasn’t her response. She was having lunch with friends. Was visiting relatives later. Plans that couldn’t be interrupted or delayed it seems. Not one word was asked of how he was right then. Had he settled down? Did he want her to visit?

The lack of visible concern loosened that chain. I felt that lion’s snarl starting to rise, wanting to turn into a roar. The animal wanting to pounce. It didn’t. I didn’t. My reply was curt. That was the best of the options I had running through my mind at that time. Avoid a confrontation. No point unleashing my anger over things outside my control.

In the past 12 months I have worked feverishly trying to improve myself. In the most part that is actually now quite easy. The exercise isn’t a problem. The steps I need to take to achieve my hopes and dreams are, if not exactly easy, quite simple and straightforward. I know I can do that.

But when it comes to emotions. The feelings of my heart and my son’s. I have a long way to go.

Granted today was a small step in the right direction. I didn’t unleash my beast. In fact the only people who will even know about it are the people reading this now. And it has helped me to see where my greatest weakness lies.

Even in the course of writing this I have felt the anger subside. No harm has been done and for that I am thankful. I guess, I hope, I am learning.

Speaking in anger is no good for anyone. It will achieve no good thing. All it can do is make things worse, compound your problems, add to your regret. So I’m asking you please, if you find yourself in that situation, find your anger starting to rise, do whatever it takes to tame your beast.

If it’s a problem that needs addressing leave it to when you are thinking clearer. Are more rational. When you head and thoughts aren’t clouded by emotion. When your lion is subdued and back in chains. You’ll be thankful later. I know I am.


28 thoughts on “The Snarling Lion

  1. Breaks my heart, I’m sure tainted a bit by my own horrific situation growing up with my mother.
    But I like your take on it, all you can do is make shifts and changes to your own self. Good luck to you

    1. I appreciate your candour and am sorry to hear you had it tough growing up. Parents sure have a way of making things worse. I know my son’s mother loves him. She just makes poor choices sometimes.
      Thanks for the luck. Best wishes to yourself also!

  2. such a brave post Chris, dealing with these demons can be so exhausting and I hope you are better rested and feeling calmer now. we can’t stop feeling protective over our children, their physical well being and also emotional needs, but there must be perspective and not rush into hasty dramatic conclusions. you took all the right steps. we cannot be responsible for anyone’s choices but our own, how i choose to react also influences my children’s moral compass. hug your boy before bedtime and smile, it will be better tomorrow as you say wait for the new day.

    1. Thanks Gina! Well settled now and am happy I held my tongue. Although I do worry about how badly affected my boy is by the whole separation.
      He and I are all good. Had a nice wee evening and some laughs.
      Bedtime for us is usually a long slow affair with lots of playing about. Means we usually both go to bed smiling ๐Ÿ™‚
      Much love to you and yours and I hope you are all keeping well ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Much thanks Gina. Sorry for the slow reply. Had just answered your previous comment as we were going to sleep.
        Appreciate the hugs and love ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Well I must tell you that you did an accomplishment by controlling your anger, especially that you have mentioned that it wasnโ€™t the case before: โ€œVerbally I can be downright destructive, unrelenting, almost savage.โ€

    I say that verbal violence does the same harm as physical violence and much more! I was always a sensitive person and some words have literally destructed me and it took me a life time to gather the pieces and probably I still didnโ€™t succeedโ€ฆSo your efforts to master a calm attitude despite the anger inside, is really an act of heroism and as you said youโ€™ll be thankful laterโ€ฆ
    As per the famous quote โ€œSpeak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regretโ€ I believe it was attributed to more than a person, one of them Groucho Marx.

    Great share and as usually authentic and enlightening ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I would agree. I know things have been said to myself that I will never forget. Bruises fade. Words not so much.
      Sorry to hear you have been on the receiving end of such things. They are a difficult thing to get over.
      Oh, I am thankful already. Got to keep bearing that in mind in future. I do think I am learning though. Being a bit more diplomatic.
      I like that quote. So true.
      Thanks for appreciating and commenting as usual. I always enjoy your view ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I wrote something in Arabic about how much words can hurt and cut as knifes…
        Thank you for the nice words, I believe it all makes us who we are now and shape our personality…We must forgive and move on
        Even though I appreciate honesty above anything but sometimes you just can’t be so honest and straightforward without hurting people feelings so diplomacy is needed in such cases!
        My pleasure always to read your thoughts! ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. See, now I wish I could read Arabic to see how you write in your native language ๐Ÿ™‚
        Trying to be truthful without hurting the other can be very difficult. Times like that we really have to measure our words.
        Now I must go to see what you’re other comment is. I can’t keep up ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      3. Well I can translate but I certainly write way much better than English for whom that understand what I’m saying in Arabic
        Yes I agree, this is why I’m honest but I rather not to give my opinion to any person…
        hahaha ๐Ÿ˜€ you’re doing pretty good! faster than me

      4. Sorry Huguette. I totally missed this comment. Only seeing it now.
        I guess that’s a fail on the multitasking…and checkmate to you ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      5. Hahah donโ€™t worry ๐Ÿ˜Š I would never imagined Iโ€™ll win in chess since I never played ๐Ÿ˜‚
        Multitasking on the other hand is well earned ๐Ÿ˜Š

      6. Ha ha neither have I ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Now that would make it an interesting game ๐Ÿ˜‚
        I would well believe it. I’m more linear myself. Finding this going from here to there quite challenging.

  4. It is not easy to tame anger and response that comes out. It needs a lot of practice. At least you are aware that you are angry. You have so much love for your son, it is visible in your writing. Too bad your kid could not visit his grandparents. But he has his father.

    1. Yes, I agree Abhijit. Frankly it is still a work in progress. But progress is being made.
      I think since the separation I have become more sensitive in regards to protecting my son.
      It is unfortunate that he is missing time with his extended family. Hopefully that will come right in time.
      I appreciate your considered comment and hope all is well with you good Sir!

  5. I would like to ask a personal question if you don’t mind, the child has mother, but he lives with you, why? If you don’t want to answer whats okay, enjoyed my read, we are just people and is not always possible to control emotion at least accept it, forgive for ourselves and for others and let go, have a wonderful day๐Ÿค—

    1. I don’t mind Ilona. She decided to leave our shared home and did not take our boy with her because he and I have always had a stronger bond. I may have failed her as a husband but she still recognised that I was the better parent. She knew it would be even more traumatic for him if she took him with her or had me leave instead. I know it can’t have been an easy decision. At the same time I would never do what she did.
      I hope you are keeping well and are having a wonderful day also ๐Ÿ˜Š

      1. Thank you for sharing a part of your life, i came today to read some posts hear and my was keep catching the part about you as a single parent, so i was curiuos to know๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒˆโ˜€๏ธi hope you already got an inspiration for your new post, happy Wednesdsay guys!

      2. You’re welcome Ilona ๐Ÿ™‚ Nothing wrong with a bit of curiosity.
        About to work on that now. I hope you have lots of inspiration also. Happy Wednesday to you too! ๐Ÿ˜Š

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