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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Costly Fuel

"Anger gives you a certain power. It's fuel. But it's costly fuel. It burns quickly and destroys everything around it and as you get older, if you don't let it go, it burns you up." 

Since first reading it in "Moving To Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life" (2008) I've relied on that passage many times when my anger is getting out of hand. Though author Wynton Marsalis was referring to his anger about lingering racism in the book, you needn't be a target of racism to learn from these words. Have you ever struggled letting go of that costly fuel? I have; it's possible that explains why his words have remained useful to me for over six years.

Bad temper, foul mood, over-reacting - just a few euphemisms I've hidden behind when anger hijacks good sense. And though I've clearly gotten better managing my moods, as recently as today I felt a toddler-like temper tantrum percolating. After isolating myself, out came my journal, which has the passage above affixed to it via a post-it. Laugh if you must but it worked. Merry Christmas.

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