Comment: The final email. Hopefully you have gained from this program. I wish you well!
MacQuarrie Email Program — Loose Ends and Final Comments
You have completed the thirty emails of this program. I know that this has required a lot of work on your part. I also hope that it has been an effective program for you, and that you have obtained the outcome you wish from it (Email #01).
At this point, I would very much appreciate feedback from you as to its effectiveness, especially what parts have been most useful, and what not. Please email me at email@example.com.
My thoughts as to how you can continue:
- be aware that as you learn your triggers and become more skillful in managing yourself, you will be changing the system within which you function.
- people will not like this, and will attempt to sabotage you. Don’t violate them as they do so; play with the sabotage.
- it is not likely that they want you to resume being angry; they may actually want you to be more healthy. However, your changes require that they themselves change. Perhaps your anger has allowed them to avoid their own anger, or served some other purpose within the system. Now they must find another way to cope, and are not prepared for this. Hence, they sabotage you and others so as to avoid their own issues — this is the nature of systems.
- manage your energy. People won’t like it; manage yourself safely (Email #02 and #25).
- as much as possible (safely), stop violations by others.
- learn the messages of your anger.
- resolve past ghosts, perhaps with therapy (see Email #16A Review #2).
- deal with conflict. The only person who can initiate change is yourself.
- practice the skills of creative communication, cooperation, and challenge
- on occasion, dive deeper into your issues, perhaps with therapy.
- be aware that these learnings of the past few months will fade. The activities and tasks must be practiced for an extended time before they become second nature. Expect this — come back (or find another program) in six months or a year.
And especially, recognize that you can act your way into a new way of thinking; you cannot think your way into a new way of acting (it is action that creates change). Growth is a balance of acting and assessing — risking is essential.
Challenge yourself. For me, I am often sad about the ways in which we have created ourselves as human beings, how traumatized we are. Learn how to step into the shoes of others so as to get how difficultly they live their lives, and why they may be criticizing you (Email #30 — Dealing With Other Angry People). For example, they have likely been traumatized themselves such that they are bitter; explore how the trauma arises for them in the present in your actual contact with them.
Most important — be a participant-observer of your own internal conflicts, watching for those sailors who demonstrate wisdom (Email #19 Why We Avoid). Develop your Captain.
I learned to deal with conflict by being challenged in how I functioned — overall a very painful process. When I had had my therapy practice for a few years, I was running a group within a community organization, supposedly an association with high integrity. Gradually I came to suspect that they had many undesirable characteristics, but I did not then have the skill to challenge them effectively. Eventually I refused to work with them, a decision that was hotly challenged. It took me three months to settle my anxiety, and come to terms that I was making a good decision for myself. But it was not easy.
Several years later, someone complained to the College who governed my license. I was able to defend myself, but it took me six weeks to settle my anxiety.
Again after a few years, another complaint — this time it took six hours to settle my anxiety. It was now simply an opportunity to demonstrate that I was living my own values.
I also learned how to function by requesting feedback from others. Much of this was part of the therapy processes I attended (as participant); later, I made it a habit to request feedback from the groups I was running. The skills of maturity are best learned through feedback.
If you want more from me, read my books (see below), subscribe to this blog, or ask questions of me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If convenient, attend one of my workshops; usually they are listed on my website (A Place Two Be). I also do individual work with clients, usually by some kind of video conferencing such as Zoom (my preference compared to Skype). There is a cost for these, but I am open to sliding scale depending on need.
Keep well; you deserve it.
Thank you. I hope you have both enjoyed and benefited from this program.
MacQuarrie, D. (2008). Blowing out the darkness: The management of emotional life issues, especially anger and rage. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.
MacQuarrie, D. (2012). Acedia, the darkness within, and the darkness of climate change. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.
Both are available from AuthorHouse, and there may be a Kindle edition on Amazon.