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disappointment

One time I got so angry that I just felt like I had become anger. I remember it really vividly. It was about 6 months ago and I just woke up one morning really irritable. I went to BuddhaChurch™, which normally really cools things down, but somehow, that morning, it just irritated me more deeply. I couldn't even stay through the whole chant about compassion. I got in the car and drove home.

On the way home I realized that the irritation had grown into full-blown anger. It was amazing, amazing anger. It felt sort of good, but it was really just remarkable. Any direction I would turn my attention I would discover only anger. I would look at other drivers, or think about people in my life, or even look at inanimate objects, and each of them would bring up a new facet of anger directed at that specific thing or person.

I went home for a few minutes and took a shower, which took the edge off it a little bit. Then I went back and sat in a chair and listened to the Lama teach. I can't remember what he was teaching about because I was in sort of a wierd fugue and I kept falling in and out of sleep. When he was done, though, I realized that it had sunk in some, and I felt very calm and even. The anger was gone.

The reason I bring this up is because I had a similar experience today, but with disappointment. I had planned to go to a friend's Art History Presentation. I had written her and told her I was coming and I had recieved directions from her. I got home from work at about seven in the morning and her presentation was only a few miles away, at ten. I hadn't slept all night, and I thought I would get a couple of hours of sleep, so I would be able to stay awake for the presentation.

I set the timer on my alarm clock and promptly passed out. I woke up to the phone ringing...my sister calling me. I looked first at the clock and saw that it was almost two PM and I had long since missed the presentation. I picked up the phone and had a normal conversation, but from that moment I just had this sense of disappointment like I had missed out on the most important thing in the universe and nothing else was entirely worth doing.

I knew it was absurd, but I'm glad my sister was calling to remind me to bring my car over to her house so she could take a driving test for a new job she was applying for. It forced me to get out of the house, otherwise I think I might have just crawled back into bed and stayed there for the rest of the day.

I just felt like disappointment itself. I was disappointed that I missed the presentation, I was disappointed with where I was in my life and how I was behaving towards people, and I felt acutely her disappointent and it felt almost unbearable to me. Really, it was a kind of conciet and melodrama. Probably it didn't affect her that much, but I just couldn't get over it.

I felt pretty much inconsolable until I got to work. Nothing like the rigors of responsibility and routine to bring one back to oneself.