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In Praise of Rage, Dread, and Failure

As many who know me might agree, I am someone who values peace, optimism, and accomplishment. I seek to live and work in a way that is loving and kind to others, though I sometimes have a harder time affording such care to myself. Most nights I go to sleep feeling satisfied with the day that has come to a close. Most days I wake up ready to meet the morning in its bright bloom.

But then there are moments, which become hours, when my perspective takes leave and all that fills my gaze is everything that could possibly come crashing down on me at any given second. I am angry and consumed with anxiety about responsibilities that I routinely handle without struggle. What soon moves to the center of my distorted vision is a litany of my failures.

I am fortunate to write that even when these dark times descend, I am eventually able to summon the presence of my mind to reclaim my perspective. But I can't do it alone. I lean on my partner, my friends, and the words and music of artists and thinkers I love. I seek out a change of scenery and go for a walk. More than all this, though, I have found that I have to move toward and through the rage, dread, and failure in order for them to shrink before my eyes.

These three--rage, dread, failure--they never disappear; I don't need them to. I know I can let them sit silently on the periphery so I'll be able to recognize them with a little less fear the next time they start making noise. In truth, they demand my gratitude. After all, if they didn't show up once in a while I wouldn't know how good it feels when they're being quiet.

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