It is impossible for you to be angry and laugh at the same time. Anger and laughter are mutually exclusive and you have the power to choose either.

Wayne Dyer

It is so easy to be angry. I was angry for so much of my life. I would stare at myself in the mirror as a teenager and mumble over and over, “You will be great, you will be remarkable,” but not to buttress my crumbling self-esteem, as retribution.

It is so easy to be angry. I would look at the piles of dysfunction around me and hate my surroundings, my life, the essence of who I was. My hatred ran so deep that I couldn’t even bare to allow myself the basic joys of life: friends who knew me, new and multiplying passions, experimentation with my behavior and thinking.

It was so easy to be angry, and it made me miss all the good things I could have had, could have found. I was always tiptoeing around dynamite, not to avoid a heel on a trigger, but to land the right one.

Because it is so, so easy to be angry, we’d rather that than anything else. I imagine myself now at fifteen, brooding through tears of thorough loneliness, and I question what I would have felt if I hadn’t found such solace in anger. Would I have been brave and humble? (By the way, to be humble you must be brave.) Would I have been silent and cowering? Most likely I’d be sobbing, wailing out my pain. Because that’s what the anger was for, to dole out that pain onto others. Some caused the pain, some were innocent, but all became victims of my wild, vengeful rage.

It was so easy to be angry, but it never healed me. It hurt me, dragging me farther and farther out into the desert of isolation. If I had felt that pain then, just went through it instead of reflecting back onto others, maybe I wouldn’t feel so lonely now. Maybe I would have been able to forge the bonds I needed to, and maybe I would have had the blissful release of forgiveness.

This is an appeal to the angry: Please, please know your anger is a deflection of your pain. Don’t choose anger. Don’t choose what’s easy.