It is powerful.
It can be all consuming.
It is forbidden in ‘nice’ people.
Some of us feel we need to ignore it – for us to show anger represents a lack of enlightenment.
Some of us feel we need to tame it – for us it serves no purpose other than to create chaos.
Many of us want to overcome it immediately – for us it is the unacceptable loss of self-control.
And in the ‘new (c)age’ era we are told to transform it into ‘light and love’.
But what if anger serves its fullest potential by its existence alone?
What if there is nothing to ignore, tame, overcome, or transform?
What if anger’s purpose is in just being with it and accepting the gifts it offers?
I am not talking about using anger as an excuse for abusing others, or wallowing in it to self-flagellate. These are symptoms of repressed emotions that have turned rancid.
I am talking about raw and immediate anger. It lets us know when our personal values have been violated. It is the alarm that rings when we witness inhumane behaviour right before our eyes. It takes us to the depths of our shadow-self where we can find new wisdom and fiery energy to motivate us out of hurtful situations.
Anger in its truest form can fuel us without making us burn; it can wash over us without drowning us in the process. It comes, bright and hot. And it speaks, clear and simple.
Unfortunately, in our inability to just exist with it, we make it something ugly and violating; losing the insight and boundless energy offered by the experience.
Here’s something to try the next time you feel triggered or upset:
- pause for a moment before you start acting out the patterns attached to the anger (eg blaming someone, shaming yourself, or numbing it out with food)
- take a few deep breaths and direct your awareness to your heart
- simply ask yourself ‘what is this anger trying to tell me’ or ‘what is the message from this anger’
- then shhhh… just listen.
If conscious awareness of your emotions is a new thing for you, it may take a few tries before your heart trusts enough to share its message, and your inner-ears are open enough to hear it. But it’s worth it… because the answers are already within you.
As the great poet Johnny Lydon once said “Anger Is An Energy” – so use it wisely!
But then again… I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right.