Monday, January 14, 2013

Meisner and Anger and Vulnerability

I'm taking this Meisner acting class.  I find it is a great way for me to be open and vulnerable, but it is having this side effect I did not expect to have.

I find myself feeling angry at the end of class (we've had two classes so far, and I've been furious on my car ride home.  Well not furious -- on the scale from displeased to outraged I would have to say that I have found myself feeling turbulent.  Mind you, I am not angry during class, but after I have felt all these emotions, my physical response seems to be degrees of anger.

That's an important observation, I am sure.  Anger is a core thing for me.  I've been angry about being abandoned and hurt.  And I've been angry about that for my entire life.  I have always felt that my anger was too much; it separates me from other people.  Yet here I am, in the midst of 10 other people whom I trust with my heart, being vulnerable, working towards a common goal, and at the end of it I am agitated.

This anger is part of a cycle for me.  Feel something - anything - towards another person, face a form of rejection from that person, be angry.  I am not saying that the cycle is what others have done to me, it is how I have perceived and therefore created most relationships in my life.  I see you, I give you a piece of my heart, you break it, I get angry at you.  It's how I learned to relate to the world through the example my parents offered.

I've done this with every significant relationship in my life.

I've done this with insignificant relationships, jobs, cities, opportunities.

I've lathered, rinsed and repeated the cycle so many times that it has become a self-fullfilling prophecy.

I believe Meisner is going to help me recognize and break this cycle.  I'm already on my way to this break because I've begun to articulate it.

The missing ingredient right now is a new approach to resolve the anger.  I used to eat, or watch tv or cry or have sex or sleep.  Now I have to pick something healthy for my heart, soul and mind, so I'm blogging.

I said to a friend yesterday that it doesn't matter if anyone reads these blogs or watches my vlogs, it just matters that I do it each day.  This is why it matters.  I need to help myself.  My commitment to blog/vlog daily is helping me stay present with myself.  Meisner seems to be a key ingredient in my process.  The work with a willing group of artists as well as the individual introspection of writing couple well together.

So Meisner and I will be taking a long walk together.  I picture us on the beaches of Santa Monica and Malibu - me and my Meisner mentors and classmates.  We are all walking down a sandy path and laughing and crying and noticing every little grain of sand.  We will have intimate moments and lonely moments.  We will be furious and rage at the ocean waves, and we will watch dolphins frolic in those waves and be calmed.  We will experience a full spectrum and break the cycle.  Breaking the cycle simply means shifting the order and the importance of each emotion.

Perhaps next week's class I will begin with anger and end with joy.


What Is A Friend?


I have so many good friends.  These are people that, for the most part have simply presented themselves to me.

There's the person who bakes bread and lets you sit in her kitchen for hours  as you cry over coffee, all the while her husband battles cancer.

There's the fella' who has the wisest mind and the smartest brain, who plays Tetris with storage lockers and releases you of guilt and shame.  He is Present (with a capital "p".)

There's the friend with whom your single parenthood and your graduate school paths have become interdependent.  You inspire one another and are, in a sense, sister/mother to one another.

There's Other Mother, the woman who takes you in and gives you sugary treats.  She is a haven in a howling world.  Her spirituality mirrors your own and yet deeply reflects the Universe that is Behind You.

The filmmaker/photographer, the unemployed hiking/writing friend, the playwrights, the actors, the designers, the art therapist (especially her with her wisdom and heart and intelligence), and then of course the Trojan horse - myself.

These people keep bringing me growth and wisdom and strength and courage and laughter and joy and creativity and inspiration and a new way of living.  These people are the ones I never want to be without.  The lesson has been about loving.  The lesson has been about self respect and self love, the lesson has been brought to me by the letter "F" and the number infinity because Friends are infinite in the potential for love.