Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Seeing red

Red, like fire. Red, like anger.

Anger... It comes in and it feels all consuming. It pulses through our veins and turns us ugly with all that it reveals. Like a forest fire it burns up all that it comes in contact with. But on closer inspection we might see something else.

A forest fire will rage through the tree's and bushes, leaving behind ash and soot. It also clears out the underbrush, dead animals, insects and disease. These fires privide an opportunity for new, healthy life.

In 1988, 13 fires were started in Yellowstone National Park by lightning. People were concerned that too much land was being destroyed and were wondering if they should try to stop the fire from spreading. It was decided to let the fire burn out naturally, and by the end of that summer nearly a million acres had burned... Now, 18 years later we are seeing the benefits of letting the fire cleanse the forest.

Certain trees send out more seedlings after a fire. The Lodgepole Pine has pinecones that will only open in temperatures of 55 degrees fahrenheit or higher. In the colder areas of Yellowstone a fire is necessary to achieve these conditions. The fire has proven beneficial to not only the plant life but animal life as well.

Anger can be healthy or it can destroy all that it touches. Will your anger lead to harsh words and destructive thoughts, or will it lead to a new beginning. Will you become so angry that you build a fortress to surround yourself and then find you are trapped? Will the flames of your life consume you? Or, will you decide to let go of the hurt, the pain that is driving your anger. Look at it and see why it pains you so. Will you find out what it is you must do to move beyond the fire.

Anger peels back the many layers of our skin leaving us raw, hurting, naked... But, if we can take a closer look at our anger it can lead us to healing truths.

If we can swallow the fear that usually accompanies anger (at least with me) we can reach through the flames, emerge on the other side reborn. Like the Pheonix we can rise from the ashes. We can become new and whole, if we allow ourselves the time and effort it takes to transform.