Raging Against The Machine
Small moments of quiet resolve turn into big moments of real change.
Everyday when I wake up the most pressing emotion I feel is anger. I’m angry that I was the product of a system that chews up little girls and spits them out without a care for their wellbeing or safety. I’m angry that my own parents, the people I trusted most in the world, perpetuate the system to this day. I’m angry that there’s nothing I can do *to* anyone because the root cause of all this misery is a nameless, faceless power that’s driving everyone to hurt themselves and the people they love. And most of all I’m angry about the fact that my anger does not and will never have any effect on any of this.
Intellectually, I know that the only thing that will make any difference is to simply let my anger go and focus on building the life I want. But emotionally, it’s been a challenge to come to terms with this reality.
Letting the anger go feels akin to going with the flow and that seems unacceptable to me in this moment. I’ve been down this road before, trusting other people to know better than me what’s good for my life, and it has left me with the deepest, most painful wounds I’ve ever felt.
And the irony is that in order to heal from the wounds caused by other people’s negligent mistakes, I have to change not them but myself.
How ironic is it that to heal from the worst trauma of your life you have to become the strongest, most optimistic version of yourself. That to recover from a lifetime of only ever knowing pain and heartbreak you have to teach yourself to love. That in order to become the person you’re truly meant to be you have to fight against parts of your own brain that are stopping you and amplify the parts that have long been suppressed and are just now learning to be free. That the answer to someone or something repeatedly and consistently hurting you for years, is to let it all go and walk away.
How ironic is it that the answer to feeling unimaginable pain is not to run from it, but to accept it, process it and transform it into what you want to put out into the world.
Because whether you like it or not, that’s what already happening: the pain you receive passes through you and out into the world. It’s up to you whether to let it pass unaltered and continue hurting the world in the same way you’ve been hurt. Or, teach yourself to take in the harsh, negative reality you experienced and transform it into bright, beautiful flowers in order to create light where once there was none.
Anger feels like easy rebellion but it doesn’t change anything. Anger is the most potent form of self-destruction. And it’s brilliant because it *feels* like you’re raging against the system when actually you’re destroying yourself. This is what the system wants - for you to be angry and to never actually do anything about it. To *feel* powerful and rage against the system, while really *being* powerless to bring about lasting change.
True power lies in making small decisions everyday that slowly but surely create the life that you want. Channel your energy into the world and create things that you want to see and build the space you want to live in. Small acts of quiet courage, deep internal shifts that no one else can see, will, like the butterfly effect, have immeasurable downstream consequences.
To me, that is the true rebellion. Rage against the machine in your own way, instead of in the way that the machine *expects* you to. When you are making decisions simply because you decided to make them, and not because you’re worried about how it will look to other people or what they will think of you, then you have won. When you stop caring about *looking* like you’re in control of your story, and care only about *being* in control of your story, then your rebellion has begun.
The pain you receive
Is yours alone to keep
No matter how unfair
That you were the only one there
Life has chosen you for this honor
The burden is yours alone to bear
And if you try to run
The pain will be like the sun
Shining down on you from above
Bathing you in its burning love
A light you can never escape
A ball of fire; your own personal hell
Until you decide to stop and face it
Absorb the light, swallow it and taste it
Let it pass through your insides
Searing them and roasting them
Transforming your very hide
Until at last you learn how to flow
Take the fire and turn it into chlo-
rophyll that will make
Your leaves bright and green
Your bark wide and strong
Your roots deep and long
Your voice loud and clear
Your heart full and open
You mind whole and body unbroken
And that’s when you will finally become
A large, kind presence that welcomes
Everyone under her shade
Growing stronger and sturdier with each passing day
Spreading her branches far and wide
Accepting her privilege and her fight
Learning to be stable come rain or shine
Sprouting flowers from every vine
Finally becoming who she was meant to be
A beautiful tree
Who’s had to learn
Through countless hardships
And unimaginable burns
How to transform a raging fire
Into pure, undying life.