Transforming Anger

Transforming Anger

I have been feeling and sensing anger all around energetically with quite a few of my clients and others.  If it is not towards certain people in politics, the weather, sucky jobs with lazy co-workers/bosses or complete strangers; the anger is directed towards people in our everyday lives.

Anger is a normal basic human feeling. It is not wrong, bad or unnatural as society has portrayed because it has been handled badly.  Anger is a direct communication from your soul letting you know your boundaries have been crossed or violated.  In its pure, direct and boundaried expression, the feeling can have a positive impact.  When anger remains blocked inside of you, it will have toxic effects on your body, mind, spirit and emotional state.  Holding onto anger can also have damaging effects on your relationships and interactions with strangers.  When anger is released, it is powerfully transformed and there is an opportunity for you to maturely communicate and set healthy limits so you can feel safe and confident in you.

However, anger gets a bad rap.  So many people condemn, reject and lock away their anger so that it becomes a beast that’s been too long in a cage.  Then it behaves savagely when it does get out, confirming our belief that it needs to be treated like a monster.  Anger doesn’t have to be volatile or explosive!  For some it is easier and common to turn their anger into a weapon, blasting away or sniping from behind their pumped up chest.  But its not so easy to keep our anger from blaming even as we allow it as a full bolded passion that the situation calls for.  Anger can be used to get even or to overpower someone else.  Or we can choose to use it to revive intimacy, to level the playing field, to empower, to address and burn through barriers with love.

Anger begins with MILD distress or upset. The reason why people think of anger as volatile is because they were never taught skillful ways to feel and release the feeling.  People more often than not associate with its repressed emotion of rage or aggression.  True direct boundaried anger flares, then fades. It gets brighter and then it is done when it is fully felt and released. In contrast, suppressed anger/rage, hostility, malice, passive aggression and hate tends to breed. Because the focus of each of these expressions is directed at some external target, the true feeling of anger – ends up not being expressed.

An unhealthy way to deal with anger is to go numb and Not FEEL your angry feelings. In this way, you transmute your angry feelings into passive-aggressive behaviors such as manipulation, guilt, sarcasm, shaming, control, perfection, sadness, depression, blame, resentment, etc.  Anger when repressed, can create an illusion that you are better than someone else as you focus your attention on sustaining and enhancing this image. You become incapable of speaking from the heart and having true connections when your inner and outer selves are in conflict with each other.

When you suppress, repress and AVOID anger, it becomes rage – a more aggressive expression.  A surefire way to tell the difference between anger and rage is that rage takes prisoners.  It attacks and goes after the target. Rage doesn’t back off until the other person is hurt.  Rage seeks to draw blood, or its emotional equivalent.  Rage turns the other person to an “it.”  Rage needs to cause damage before it starts evaporating. However, there is no excuse for treating another person badly as it creates distance and disconnect within yourself.

For anger to dissipate, we must feel our true feeling, express and release it accurately and talk about the true event.  We must become intimate with the feeling.  Getting close to its intensity and heat and to our habitual ways of handling it.  Anger can be destructive or constructive, depending on the kind of relationship with choose to develop with anger.

For example – If you say you’re angry because your sister is always late, but actually, you are angry because you feel her friends are more important to her than you are, you won’t feel relief even if she apologizes and promises to be early next time.  Only feeling and releasing the feeling and being in touch with the truth will shift a feeling. The truth is an opportunity to let someone else know us.  Thus, it improves our chances of being treated better in the future.  If the other person cares about you and the relationship they will shift their behavior.  But the objective is not to change the other person.  Expressing your anger is so that it will make a difference for you…it’s about you living and expressing your truth.  Being intimate with the feeling of anger will allow you to understand that you are angry with your sister because she hasn’t been connecting with you emotionally or spending quality time with you, and doesn’t respect or value your time.