Channeling Anger


“I want to say somewhere: I’ve tried to be forgiving. And yet. There were times in my life, whole years, when anger got the better of me. Ugliness turned me inside out. There was a certain satisfaction in bitterness. I courted it. It was standing outside, and I invited it in.”

Nicole Krauss



Today is my day for posting at Vision and Verb.  I have been contemplating what I am learning as I walk this new path of retirement.  Here is a small excerpt of today’s post….


Yes indeedy I invited anger, bitterness and resentment in for a long time.  It had resided somewhat quietly awaiting one of my famous private tantrums of release….these were never  pretty nor very helpful.  They were instead deadly.

I have learned the hard way that holding on to anger has so many ugly side effects.  It reaches into every crack and crevice eating away at your body, mind and soul inevitably compromising your health.  My blood pressure was inching up, I was breaking teeth, the weight gain was out of hand, I had insomnia, a bleeding ulcer and migraines.  And while these all seemed like enough, I was also unhappy, depressed, stressed out and angry all the time…..oh so angry.


“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” ― Mark Twain


And why was I so accepting of anger… so happy to keep this close relationship with something that was literally killing me?  It seemed to boil down to this…I could not forgive.  Actually it was more like I would not forgive.  I was happy to savor the nasty, bitter taste.  I found power in it.




I hope you will pop over to Vision and Verb to read more about how I came to grips with anger and channeled it to happiness….


On a personal note, I may be absent from reading blogs, blogging and email as I have to have hernia surgery.  This all came up on me fast landing me in the emergency room this past weekend and then the hospital.  I do not have a surgery date but it will be soon, and then weeks of recovery as this particular surgery will have to be full blown abdominal surgery.  If I have another flare up, then it will be even sooner as an emergency surgery.  

To say, I am scared, angry and all around not happy is putting it mildly.  Yes, I am grateful for a great surgeon and that this can be corrected, but all the risks of surgery are there (I am not a great candidate for anesthesia) and hard to put aside.  And then my garden, veg garden etc are now on somewhat of a hold since I do not know when this will all happen.  I cannot go out and garden and my wonderful husband is finishing the clean up under my supervision (as he calls it).  I am trying to plan, but you how life is….so I will keep you posted, but if I am missing for a time without any word, then it is this darn hernia.  Meantime, I am cramming in all the blogging and blog reading I can as I will miss it and my garden.


Next up on the blog:  Monday I will have a recap of the April Garden.

I hope you will join me for my posts once a month at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. See my latest post.

I can also be found blogging once a month at Vision and Verb.  I hope you enjoy my latest post.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.




  1. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    I like the illustration of anger with the veined purple petunias. A great statement. In meditation finding ‘that place’ where it is neither happy/sad angry/serene is a relief but hard to hold without the thoughts distracting again. Keep going!

    I wish you all the best with your surgery – you’ll have to do no dig gardening. I’m going to have a back op at the end of May so we will both be recuperating together. 🙂 x

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Laura…it is a daily balance and work. I also wish you the best for your surgery…we will have to keep in touch…sending you lots of healing thoughts!!

  2. Cathy says:

    That’s terrible news Donna, and I really feel for you. It will be so frustrating not being able to get out and garden. I do hope the surgery can take place quickly and that all goes well. I wish you all the best and a very rapid recovery! As they say, life is what happens when you’re making other plans!
    Take care, and a big hug from me. xx

    • Donna says:

      I was thinking the same thing, Cathy….life happens when you are making other plans….we shall see where the plans go now. And thank you for the hug!

  3. Lavender Cottage says:

    Hi Donna
    So sorry to hear of your impending surgery, I wish you well and a speedy recovery.

  4. Florence says:

    Well, surgery’s the pits and recuperation is no bowl of cherries either. But I do hope everything goes smoothly. Lay in a good stock of books to read and movies to watch and chocolate. (I’m sure someone has done a study somewhere that shows the vast recuperative effects of chocolate in the diet…and if they haven’t, they certainly should..) Anyway, here’s to a successful surgery and speedy recovery!

    • Donna says:

      I agree Florence that chocolate has healing properties….I plan to lay in a lot of dark organic chocolate with stacks of books and the TV remote. I think I may even come out stronger for all this. Thank you for such healing thoughts! 🙂

  5. susan@life-change-compost says:

    Oh Donna, I’m sorry to hear about this! It may sound very weird, but summer is actually a good time to be recovering from surgery (If you have to have it, that is) . There are so many healing properties in the sun and just being out in nature with it. I will be sending you many healing thoughts and meditations for a strong and sure recovery. I’ll miss seeing you often in the ether, but I know you are there and that is something important: we’ve made a connection. Love and light, Susie

    • Donna says:

      I hear you Susie about healing in summer. I am hopeful that is exactly why I am looking at surgery now. I thank you for all the healing thoughts and you know my meditations will still keep me connected. ;D

  6. Alison says:

    Oh Donna, hope your surgery goes well, and is successful! It’s rough to have to leave the garden to its own devices for a while. I used to hold onto anger too, and bitterness. I try not to do that now.

  7. Stacy says:

    Best wishes to you in your surgery, Donna! I’m so sorry you have to have it. Perhaps you’ll have bluebirds and all your other critter friends poking their heads in at your windows, checking to see how you’re doing. Heal well! Warm thoughts.

    • Donna says:

      The critters will bring me so much joy as I watch for fledglings to appear. At this rate we should have 5 broods at least around the garden with a few more in the bushes well hidden. Thank you for your warm healing wishes Stacy!

  8. Cheryl says:

    Oh, Donna, leave it to you to so courageously write about such a gnarly subject. The full post on Vision and Verb was superb.

    As you face your surgery and recovery, I can’t help but think of an earlier post in which you contemplated a “let it be” time in your garden. Perhaps that’s what you’ll have this year. And as your garden dances a bit untended through the season, maybe it can help you in a couple of ways: The beauty and your gratitude for it can help your recovery, and the natural course of things with its inevitable messiness can help you practice forgiving.

    I look forward to hearing all you learn from this experience, and wish you a deep and speedy recovery.

    • Donna says:

      I had to smile Cheryl as I have been thinking similar thoughts….those lessons keep coming back to test us and see if we are done with them yet. I know I still have much to learn.

      I have also been wondering what the lessons will be from this experience…it should be a doozy! Glad you enjoyed the post at V and V!

  9. Gail Dixon says:

    Donna, I hope your surgery goes well. Prayers for a speedy recovery.

    I lived for years with anger. With God’s help and prayer, I was able to let it go. There are still times I struggle with it, though.

  10. Susan says:

    Wishing you all the best for your surgery and recovery and ultimate return to the garden. I grew up in a family where anger, bitterness and resentment were a lifestyle. I chose to love well and embrace simple pleasures. I think forgiveness comes with understanding. So I forgive but I’ve made it clear the old behaviours are no longer acceptable. Often it makes things awkward, even difficult, but I owe it to myself to stay true to a hard earned peace of mind.

    • Donna says:

      I agree Susan. It is hard and awkward to forgive and draw the line….but it is so important for our sanity. Thank you for the well wishes!

  11. denise says:

    Oh yes, hanging onto anger can be so toxic. I relate.

    And good luck with the surgery. My hiatal hernia went away, (I am assuming this is a hiatal hernia). I was surprised but happy. One less anesthetic moment. All the best to you and MrD. I do a lot of supervising here too.

  12. Casa Mariposa says:

    Just think of the surgery as a means to an end. It’s a positive that will help you deal with a persistent negative in your life. At least you don’t have to worry about rushing back to work and can take your time to heal. Warm wishes for a happy recovery.

    • Donna says:

      This is why I love to blog….the many perspectives that can give us a great outlook on things….thank you for these words. They help!

  13. PlantPostings says:

    I’ve been there with the anger. Still working to forgive some folks, and finding it very difficult. But I guess that’s part of the life path. So sorry to hear about the need for extensive surgery, Donna. I wish you could get away with a simpler procedure. Take care, and I’ll be thinking about and praying for you. Hugs! ~Beth

    • Donna says:

      Forgiveness is the hardest thing to do and sometimes even harder to give to yourself. Thanks for your healing, good wishes Beth. 🙂

    • Donna says:

      I will Christina…and before I know it, I will be gardening again. Right now it is the waiting for a decision from the Dr.

  14. Barb Mrgich says:

    Hi Donna, I’m a day late reading your post. So sorry to hear about your upcoming surgery. My heart goes out to you. I dream of my garden all winter, and can’t wait to be out there in the spring, so I can relate to what you are feeling. As to the anger….I am a Christian. I try to walk each day with Jesus. What joy He can bring into your life! Jesus taught us to forgive just as He forgives all of us. Each morning that we wake up, we have a choice. We can be grateful for the blessings we have and enjoy our day, or we can be bitter and angry about what we have lost. I choose the to be happy! I will pray for your speedy recovery, and your discovery of new joys while you slow down enough to recover!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks so much Barb. Your thoughts on forgiveness are very special. I was brought up with these same teachings. And I agree we do have a choice, and I also choose happiness. Thanks for reminding me.

  15. bridget says:

    Good luck with your surgery and recovery. Interesting topic…anger. Apparently unresolved anger is damaging to the liver.

  16. Pam's English Garden says:

    Donna, I empathize regarding both anger and your surgery. When I’ve read your whole article, I’ll leave a comment on Vision and Verb. As for the surgery — I am still recovering from my stomach surgery. I am becoming impatient to get my strength back, but I agree we must be stronger for these experiences in the end. I’ve had to let go of perfectionism in the garden this year. Our gardens have good bones and will be lovely even with some neglect. I wish you freedom from pain and a speedy recovery! P. x

    • Donna says:

      Oh Pam I know you do know how I feel. I am hoping you will be out in your garden soon. Mine has been neglected for too many summers and I was hoping to get in there this year. Oh well. Thank you for the healing wishes!!

  17. Julie says:

    Hi Donna, I am sorry to read you will be out of action for a while, I hope you have a speedy recovery and your recuperation will be spent just taking in the sights and sounds, maybe the wildflowers that flourish naturally will help with the healing process. Very best wishes, Julie

    • Donna says:

      Thanks for your wonderful thoughts Frances. I can and will have posts ready to go in advance, but it is the gardening that is already in swing. Trying now to figure when it will be best to do this as the veg beds are planted some and the warm weather veggies are downstairs growing along and waiting until the end of the month.

      Then of course there are summer bulbs I already bought and need to plant asap…it is like getting things ready for when you go away for vacation….but somehow it will all work out for the best!

      • Island Threads says:

        well Donna your health is most import, it’s better to lose a few veggies and bulbs and have your health, I can though imagine how frustrating it must be after all those cold white months in the house and now the weather is better your body lets you down, just take care and don’t over do it, Frances x

        • Donna says:

          Thanks for that reminder Frances as I have a tendency to push too hard….but my husband won’t let me as he is watching me closely…and my body is reminding me to not do too much either. I think I am most disappointed that after such a long winter I am waiting again to garden.

  18. Diana Studer says:

    more gentle healing thoughts coming your way from me in South Africa. May you come thru this bit easily, and promptly be able to pick up your plans for your future.

  19. Ramblingwoods says:

    Oh no….. My brother just found out he needs surgery for one also….. I understand your fear and frustration… If there is anything I can do long distance….hugs

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Michelle. I hope to find out more info Monday when I meet with the surgeon. I will let you know if I need anything…I need someone who can help with my garden but I will have to rely on myself and my husband. He is not a gardener.

  20. DeniseinVA says:

    Hi Donna, I’ll be thinking of you hon, you’ll be okay but I know it doesn’t stop the worrying. It’s a scary proposition to go through any kind of surgery and I’ll wish for the time to go quickly so that you can get it all over and done with and way behind you. You’re in my prayers.

  21. Anna says:

    I hope that your surgery goes well Donna. At least warmer days are on the horizon so you will be able to sit out in your beloved garden as you recuperate.Take care.

  22. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    Oh Donna, so sorry to hear you have to have surgery, and such serious surgery at that. And in Spring, too, not that there is ever a good time for such a thing. I hope all goes smoothly, and although you face a long recovery period, maybe it will be ameliorated by better weather, and time to sit back and really contemplate your garden, where it is and where you want it to be. Take care of yourself.

    • Donna says:

      I like your thoughts Janet…time to contemplate my garden. I look forward to a long rest although I will have to practice restraint as I will have a hard time not doing anything for a few weeks in the spring garden.

  23. Andrea says:

    Hi Donna, you will be fine with the surgery. It is best to just let everything to the Doctor and God, anyway there’s no more to be afraid of. You have released the anger, that is all it needs! Those you’re reaping now including the hernia is actually the symptoms of the past, but let them be, it is good not to think too much.

    I’ve been a very angry person, maybe the result of being a battered child. I learned meditation and i guess a change in perspective matters much. In the past i sometimes feel i can be very violent when angry, feel that i can kill someone i am angry at. Now, i already delegate everything to the ether including anger, and i don’t suffer anymore from those acid pains, etc. More power to you Donna. You will be fine, we are all sending our positive and loving thoughts to you! Take care.

    • Donna says:

      Such wise caring words…thank you Andrea. You are so right that the hernia is from the past hurts, stress and pain and needs to be healed…letting it go is so important. I meet with the Doctor tomorrow and will know then the plan.

  24. Ginnie says:

    I’ve already read your wonderful, thought-provoking post at V&V, Donna, and have commented there. But now, about your hernia and upcoming surgery…I am so very sorry. I hate it for you except for whatever healing it will bring to your body. When you are able, please give us an update. But first and foremost, TAKE CARE OF YOUERSELF…and just rest.

  25. Donna says:

    I wish you well on your surgery. I know it would be scary. I have never been one to harbor anger, bitterness and resentment, so I can not relate. I also don’t associate with people that are toxic in a negative way. It keeps life a lot more pleasant. I enjoy life too much to have these bottled up emotions or tolerate them in others. I am glad you are on a path to make life more grand.

    • Donna says:

      Thank you Donna….it is hard to not associate with toxic people when they are either in your family or your office, but it has been good to know how to deal with it and let it go. I have had some bosses who were extremely toxic and there wasn’t much you could do but quit after a while. But it was a lesson I had to learn and it has helped. I agree life is too short to worry about all that …spending time enjoying life is best.

  26. Grace Peterson says:

    Darn it Donna. I’m late to the party. I’m so sorry about your need for surgery. This has got to be so disheartening this time of year. I know how you wanted to garden. Hopefully you’ll recover quickly and be outside in no time. I am so glad you have a good husband to travel with you through this rough patch.

    I was a very, very angry young woman. I didn’t understand any of the particulars, just that I would explode without a whole lot of provocation. I know now where it was coming from. It’s hard. I hope you’re getting the insight you need to deal with this. Hugs.

    • Donna says:

      It is a bit of a downer Grace…but it is part of the healing I am going through…I have a much better handle on anger these days. The surgery is next Friday so I have a week to get organized in the garden and blog and in the house…

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