He Has A Violent Temper and Other Big Deal Inquiry

Question the worst situations, see what happens
Question the worst situations, see what happens

There is something about those moments where great sorrow, violence, trauma, pain, and sadness are born.

These can be very, very powerful for The Work and self-inquiry.

And a bit difficult, you know?

Sudden accidents. Violence. War. People fighting. Physical pain.

Last night, in Year of Inquiry group, a courageous inquirer read his worksheet from age five.

We’re jumping into our first month with the topic being Family of Origin (I love saying FOO, a phrase coined by my graduate school program).

Some of these past moments, the most stressful ones, are vivid in our minds and hearts. They may have affected us our entire lives, or so it seems.

“My father had a violent temper” and “I want him to stop hitting”.

These are so straight-forward.

The wonderful simple thought of a five year old writing his beliefs (and really, an adult writing from the future–which is now–too).

How could I possibly be without the thought “this is a violent temper” or “I want him to stop hitting”?


They are soooo true. They are absolutely true.

But stop a moment.

Don’t go all the way to the far reaches of space when you imagine being without these thoughts. Or that you’re crazy, because you remember for a fact that your dad went into a rage.

First, simply notice who you are in this moment, right now, without the beliefs running through your body and mind and soul associated with terrible, painful memories.

Do you notice you are here, breathing, even sitting in a quiet room on a comfortable chair?

You made it.

You didn’t die from that terrible situation.

Good to notice.

This work, for me, is about looking at what is true. Not putting ideas, judgments, or beliefs on it.

Seeing, without deciding anything about what happened.

It is NOT about denial, or thinking “Hey, no problem my dad hit my mom, I’m OK with that.”

Of course you’re not OK with that.

No one in their right, loving mind would be OK with that.

But it’s questioning the impact of those situations, those moments.

To question them, I find…..

…..something shifts and becomes less vicious or intense.

The energy or anger or rage is dispersed.

To question these frightening, loud, crazy, intense moments brings clarity, strength, and noticing much more than what was happening at only those moments.

What is true?

Can I dare to question it?

What do I notice about reality?

I see that here on planet earth, sudden and destructive and crashing things happen.

Loud noises, injuries, bodies getting severed or dying, disease, people yelling, wars, weapons, fighting, fists punching, things breaking.

Who would you be without the focus on all this as the end of the world, as completely overwhelming, or that you can’t handle it or we don’t make it through such situations?

Who would you be without the belief you couldn’t handle it? Or that the person who was a perpetrator (if you have one you can picture) was evil and shouldn’t have existed?

I notice they did exist.

And I find, as I sit still with this idea over and over that such occurrences happen in humanity, I continually notice that in my life I get to explore another way. I get to study anger, and rage, and violence and addiction, and see what else feels more right, more natural.

Who would you be without your thoughts that there are some things that are too much to bear?

Bearing it.

“When inquiry is alive inside you, thoughts don’t pull you away from loving whatever happens, as it happens. Pain is always on its way out; it’s the story of a past. All the pain we have ever suffered, all the pain that any human being on this planet has ever suffered, is gone in this present moment. We live in a state of grace.” ~ Byron Katie in 1000 Names For Joy.

If you have questions about denial, or being too passive if you do The Work, these are powerful observations and worthy of deeply questioning and bringing to the process.

See what is true for you. Really, really true.

All I know is, everything that’s ever happened that felt horrible for me has turned out to be OK now, manageable, even wonderful teaching.

It’s not denial, or trying to fake positivity, or being unreal about something difficult happening.

These things happen. They are worthy of deep inquiry, to see the truth for yourself.

Who you would be without thought.

“The master is the woman who dented your car, the man who stepped in front of you in line at the supermarket, the old friend who accused you of being selfish and unkind. Do you love the Master yet? There’s no peace until you do.” ~ Byron Katie

The master could be someone who has done much worse.

But what is your truest nature?

Love, or war?

You don’t even have to decide.

Much Love, Grace


2 Replies to “He Has A Violent Temper and Other Big Deal Inquiry”

  1. Absolutely, I don’t think it’s ever supportive or valuable to call something “wonderful” that isn’t. And, anger and awareness is also a part of reality. I have found great benefit in being angry. It brings clarity, vision, and real precision, and shows me who to stay away from. Thank you for breaking the cycle and getting the support you have needed to end the trauma you experienced.

  2. I’m glad that you wrote about trauma because that’s what I’m dealing with, and it’s forced me into therapy most of my life. Yes, I’ve learned a lot in the process, but to call that “wonderful ” feels shallow. Other people were also hurt in the process and who knows if they’re OK. t I also resent having to work that hard to make a “normal” life. I was raised by people who were criminals and should never have been parents. My therapist described it as concentration camp horror. Yes, I’ve broken the generational cycle of abuse and I feel that’s why I was born into this family……but that doesn’t make everything “OK”. They left behind a stream of trauma impacting many people, and I’m mad at them for that.

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