As an artist and a human being, I’ve found four emotions that trap me:
Pity: no one wants pity you. It’s seductive to want pity, to be consoled, to be told nothing’s your fault, and the world isn’t fair. But the truth is: no one really wants to feel sorry for you. And you don’t want someone to pity you, as much as you may imagine you want it. It’s humiliating. Pity is a useless emotion. Nothing comes from pity — no release, no catharsis. It just wastes everyone’s time.
What is the antitode to Pity? Anger. As a 65-year old man in a clown outfit named Lunatic at Burning Man told me once, Anger is a transformative emotion. You can do something with anger. You can write your anger, sing your anger, create from your anger. It transmutes your depression into something tangible, and whether or not you share what you create with the world, it leeches the poison out of you. Honoring your anger is part of honoring yourself — warts and all. Anger is valid and helpful and it’s part of your human dignity. Best of all: it can lead to something — it moves the pain and releases it.