On Saturday night, I went to the 10:15 pm showing of The Dark Knight Rises at my local Lowes Theatre, very conveniently purchasing my movie ticket on Fandango using my Apple iPhone.
I decided to go at the last minute and picked up my nephew, Raymond, to go with me. Raymond is the “14 year old squatting on a stability ball” seen in my YouTube video that I posted a few weeks ago.
What a great movie! The Dark Knight Rises exceeded my expectations. Great plot, awesome character development, and believable acting. I was even pleasantly surprised by what a fantastic Catwoman Anne Hathaway turned out to be.
I have enjoyed all three of the movies in this trilogy; Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and, now, The Dark Knight Rises. What I especially appreciate is the character development of Bruce Wayne. It is particularly interesting to me how Bruce Wayne uses his anger. His anger that is a product of a severe event that happens when he is a young boy- the murder of both his parents, right in front of him. I am intrigued and inspired by the power Bruce Wayne is ultimately able to harness utilizing the anger created by an extremely traumatic childhood event. I believe there may be several of us out there who are able to truly relate to feelings of intense anger precipitated by a traumatic childhood event. I am one of them.
No, my parents were not murdered. But, the truth is, in my past, I have mostly been fueled by anger. Anger that grew inside of me at the hands of a monster I suffered the wrath of from the ages of 8 – 13 years of age. I UNDERSTAND the feelings of your loved ones being hurt in front of you and the feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness created by not being able to do anything about it. I understand the feeling of someone taking everything away from you and there being nothing you can do about it. I understand what it feels like to have so much anger welling up inside of you that you feel like you can’t contain it any longer, like you are going to explode, destroying yourself and everything and everyone within the blast radius. And the more I understand about what I was subjected to as a child, and the evil in it, the angrier I become. The question is, what do you do with all that? What do you do with all that emotional energy?
I’ve dealt with my anger for a very long time. I honestly don’t know who I would be without it, and honestly, I don’t want to know. Lifting weights became my channel for releasing my anger, my channel for using all that emotional energy. Going to the gym, for me, is like going to church- it helps me define my guiding, inner light. Without this constructive channel for anger and stress relief, it is highly likely my life would have come to a tragic, destructive end. For all my education, both formal and self-directed, the best advice for handling anger that I have come across was expressed most simply and succinctly by Dr. Paul Dobransky. I believe, as he does, that you have three choices of what to do with anger, 3 choices on how to spend that emotional energy:
- Be constructive
- Be destructive
- Let it fester
I also discovered some very useful material in relation to anger and emotional energy, in a book, that based on it’s title, I first thought was about weight training and sports. In Dr David R. Hawkins book, POWER VS. FORCE, there are 17 “levels of consciousness” that are identified and discussed. The theory of this book is that your life is defined by the level of consciousness on which you operate. Each level is personified by an emotion. Here is his chart reproduced here for the sake of clarity:
The way that I understand it, you cannot elevate your condition to the level above it, until you successfully resolve the level that you are currently operating on. Self growth is required. You will notice that some levels are negative, represented by a down arrow, and some levels are positive. Meaning some are predominently destructive, by their nature, and some are predominently constructive. After reading Dr David R. Hawkin’s book, POWER VS. FORCE, you will be able to identify the level you are currently operating on, the emotional energy that dominates your life. Why that is useful is because identifying WHERE YOU ARE on this MAP of consciousness helps you recognize your strengths, your weaknesses, and where you need to move towards next if you are to improve the quality of your life.
Please notice that below the level of Anger, which is personified by the emotion of Hate, are the levels of Desire, Fear, Grief, Apathy, Guilt, and Shame… personified by the emotions of Craving, Anxiety, Regret, Despair, Blame, Humiliation. Also, please notice that the energies do not begin to turn positive until the level of Courage and the emotion of Affirmation is invoked at a vibrational energy level of 200. My point being that you are required to resolve your negative emotions before you can possibly elevate your life to a positive level and that courage becomes the final gateway to your better life.
Back to Bruce Wayne and the Dark Knight Rises… Comic books and their characters, which have become hugely popular in the last few years, are basically a form of myth telling. Stories of myth and legend are meant to inspire and guide us as human beings to elevate ourselves… to be MORE. Being the Batman in “real” life is a practical impossibility. But as human beings we are inspired by the romanticized ideal of this fictional hero because of what he represents to each one of us. To me, he represents how to remain a good and moral person while utilizing his anger and eternal inner pain to ultimately gain victory over injustice. He is a symbol of power. While it is not possible to be Batman in the real world, the myth of Batman does provide a lesson of how to turn the mostly destructive emotional energy of anger into the power to prevail over evil.
I am certainly not the only one who had it tough as a kid- many have had much tougher.
I am definitely not the only one who has negative emotional energy that needs a constructive channel for release. Whether your channel for constructive release is going to the gym, going for a run, starting a new home improvement project, playing an instrument, or drawing and painting… it makes little difference, as long as you choose something, an activity that is constructive rather than destructive.
Hopefully, if you suffer similar emotional distress, this blog post has given you a notion, or two, of what to do about it. Hopefully, you can take symbols like Batman to inspire you to make the right choices and elevate yourself to a better, happier life and ultimately heal your emotional self. Good luck.