Do you ever rage?
I’m not asking if you ever get angry. I’m asking if you ever rage. I’m asking if your stomach ever clenches into a ball the size of a mandarin, if your guts fill with bile and acid, if you can no longer hold onto your coffee cup because your hand is shaking so hard and the only solution that can possibly satisfy you is to throw it through a window or at someone.
I’m asking if your world ever contracts to admit nothing but the fury of this second, if you feel you’re breathing through a straw and if you suddenly cannot hear anything but the blood rushing in your ears and the incredible bass drum of your heartbeat. I’m asking if your mind ever gets so stuck on the enormity of the wrong you have suffered that you cannot focus on a conversation, a movie, a concert, sex. I’m asking if your yoga practice and your meditations and your affirmations have ever deserted you so abruptly that they left skid marks, leaving you instead a phenomenally unenlightened, vengeful, wrathful soul, meditating instead on the idea that a slow and painful death would be far too merciful for the perpetrator of the monstrous injustice against you.
We have all been there, and we all have our ways of getting through it. You might gently close your laptop, step away from the computer, and turn the violence inside you loose on a pillow, or a couch, or a bed. You might find a trampoline or a bounce house and jump until you are spent. You might find a place some distance from other people and scream.
But here is what not to do: don’t put it on social media. Don’t put it in an email. Don’t tweet it, or blog it, or instagram it.
In minutes, or hours, or days, that rage will pass. But your wall post will live on, a permanent reminder of how much, in your weakest moment, you are capable of hatred -- and that is not a beast you want to nourish.
A public record of the event dignifies neither you nor the recipient. It serves no purpose other than to entertain a small group of rubbernecking voyeurs on the sidelines -- or, if your rant is good enough and makes it to Lamebook, a significantly larger audience of rubbernecking voyeurs on the sidelines.
Rage belongs firmly in the private sphere. It should be let out of its cage only amongst close friends and trusted confidantes: people who will remain calm in the face of your personal storm, who will let you rail against your enemies and talk you off the ledge and never judge you when those enemies once again become your friends.
Gently close your laptop. Step away from the computer. And return when you can breathe again. You’ll be glad you did.