Don’t try to hide inside anger, a radiance that cannot be hidden.~ Rumi (The Essential Rumi)
We’ve all at some time in our lives felt anger ignite within us with a fiery intensity. This feeling surges through our veins in an intoxicating way, yet we also know that it can get us into a lot of trouble.
When we were young, not much effort was put into teaching us how to express our feelings or learning how to relate with others on an empathetic level. Instead, we put great importance in learning algebra and history, but when it came to understanding our own inner emotions, we were left up to our own instincts to “figure it all out.”
With such a defective approach to emotion, it’s no wonder that we collectively perceive emotions such as anger in a negative light. In fact, anger is so feared that as a society we tend to hide it away or reserve it for “acceptable” places such as sports matches or music concerts.
But the greater our fear of facing or expressing anger is, the more we tend to repress it. And when anger is repressed, it tends to surface through other channels leading to problems such as passive aggression, indirect hostility, self-hatred, psychosomatic physical ailments, and even psychotic breakdowns.
WHAT REALLY IS “ANGER”?
There are two types of anger:
Anger that is channeled in a healthy way, and anger that is channeled in an unhealthy way. In other words, we can either mistreat anger or honor it for the messages it is bringing us in the moment.
Although we might fear or condemn anger, anger itself is not the issue. Anger is a life force within us, it is our volition manifesting itself in the rawest way it knows how. Anger is only real energy that has been provoked. Only when we learn how to turn this energy into personal power can we mature as individuals.
When anger is channeled in unhealthy ways it becomes a corrosive emotion, tainting anything in its proximity. Unacknowledged anger can also lie at the root of Soul Loss. In other words, when anger is suppressed for too long, it can numb your insides so that you lose touch with your vital core essence. Eventually, through time, you grow unaware that the source of your never-ending unhappiness is your unexplored anger from ages past.
Unfortunately, in our society, it seems that anger is so feared, avoided and repressed, that it often leads not only to soul loss but too violent acts of repression. Rage and crimes of passion are only really the result of a blocked inner volcano that has been buried beneath the ground, or conscious mind, too long.
Take a moment to consider how anger drives your behavior. Does it make you explode at your spouse or children? Does it compromise your closest friendships and relationships, or turn you into a person you hate? Perhaps your anger even fuels addictions or prejudice against others.
For others, anger is turned into the more acceptable form of workaholism. And for some, anger is taken out on fellow employees or pets. Anger can even be channeled in a passive-aggressive way by using silent treatment or offering insincere love in a relationship.
As a result of our mistreatment of anger, we understandably come to fear it. Consequently, many people out there feel that they should try to “get rid” of this emotion as soon as possible. But little do they know that this actually perpetuates the cycle of fear, avoidance, repression, and suffering.
But can you really escape your anger issues?
The truth is that you can’t escape what already IS. Any movement to escape anger or get rid of it is denying the flow of energy that is arising within you. It is through resistance that you feed this energy.
So what is the alternative?
SEEING YOUR ANGER AS A MESSENGER
The second type of anger is a healthily channeled form of anger.
Instead of being used to fuel aggression, hatred, and rage, healthily channeled anger serves to bring much insight, passion, and creativity into life.
On my own life path, I’ve come to see anger not as an issue, but as a messenger. Anger lets me know when something has caused friction within me. It lets me know that my ego has been hurt, or an old scar has been scratched. It is a valuable teacher. But you must use your intelligence to listen to it.