Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Holding onto Destruction

The Hanging Gale is a mini-series set in 1846 and tells the story of an Irish family set in a pitch battle against an English estate manager. Four very stubborn brothers and their father work hard to make a living as tenants of an English Lord, while fighting injustices and problems in their society. Circumstances, like the potato famine, conspire against the brothers and their father as they fight to keep their farm. The farm becomes a Holy Grail of sorts and the Phelan family will do anything, including sacrificing their own lives, to save their farm. In the end, two of the brothers do die, as well as at least one child. One of the brothers emigrates to America with the wife of one of the dead brothers.

It's a very tragic story, told without flinching the harsh details, including drinking blood from a cow in milk to sustain the family. As I watched the series in sadness, I was astounded that these brothers were willing to go to such lengths to keep their farm. The destruction seemed so senseless. In the end they lost virtually everything. And they didn't even get to keep the farm.

But this story rings true for our day. Have you ever met someone who was willing to hold onto something, even something good, to the exclusion of everything else? Did you watch the destruction? Now, there are things that are worth fighting for and holding onto. I think family definitely falls into that category. But holding onto a house, car, or a possession can lead to a lot of destruction. It's not just possessions that we sometimes hold onto.

Hatred, anger, jealousy, obsession, etc. are all things that become our destruction. Even injustices that we fight can become destructive. Lately, I've been obsessing about something that I perceive as an injustice. As I've focused on it, it has consumed me, to the point where I've felt angry, trapped, and very frustrated. Somehow, thinking about the Hanging Gale made me realize that becoming consumed by this is destroying my peace of mind and my emotional health. And I'm not willing to die for that house I've built in my mind. I'm  not willing to lose what is important to me for something I can't change.

And so I won't. I'm putting it away. I'm walking away and letting my anger stay in the house. I don't need it. I won't hold onto my destruction.

ETA: While I enjoyed The Hanging Gale, it isn't for everyone. The series is violent and somewhat graphic. There is some female nudity and some references to sex.

1 comment:

  1. I learned long ago that holding on to anger hurts the angry person worst of all. I had a justifiable reason to be angry at another person. I could not sleep, work or concentrate. I was miserable. I realized, with the help of a great therapist, that the focus of my anger wasn't losing any sleep at all. The only one suffering was me. Once I accepted that I could not change this person I started working on letting it go. I came to a state where I could forgive what was done to me. It was not easy but afterwards I was able to turn my life in a better direction.