Anger as a useful emotion, generating power for change
I thought I’d share my thoughts on anger and how to use it to your advantage. Working in this industry, people can be deceived by the “love and light” mentality – thinking that we are not perfect until we can reach the ideal of expressing this way all the time. There is a spiritual bypassing to this, a denial of all we are here to experience, an inauthenticity and a lack of understanding that we are here to evolve.
We are perfect in our imperfections. All expressions are spiritual, for we are spirits having a human experience. And if health and happiness are products of our balance, then we cannot deny ourselves the experiences and gifts of the shade of life.
I believe all emotions come from two core expressions of love & fear. We have been born with the ability to have the whole range of emotions, and we are here to experience both the light and shade of life, which means its part of our evolvement to learn how to move through and use all the emotions we have.
We have been taught that certain emotions are negative, like anger & fear - and others positive, like love and joy. That it is unsavoury and antisocial to express certain emotions, like anger is BAD, and being angry makes you a bad person. The way unprocessed anger spills out into our lives can certainly bring negative consequences in our interactions with others, habits and our decision making. So we have learned to dodge, stuff down, deny and disassociate from it. As a result, we find it more difficult to understand ourselves when triggered into anger, and even more difficult is to work out where to put, or how to process it.
It is seemingly easy, to express love when we feel it, it spills out in all our interactions – with understanding, compassion, joy and laughter. When we are triggered to anger, this can also spill out in our interactions, with frustration, annoyance, impatience and irrationality.
The easiest way to move through an emotion, is to ALLOW yourself to truly experience it, let it in, express it and then use the energy that it gives you to inspire change. We are scared to do this with anger, as we think it means identifying with something that is bad, recognising that we are bad. That is not true. We are not our emotions, our expression is a product of our experiences and programming. We are infinite beings. And the way to transcend our previous experiences, programming and move out of victim mentality and towards transformation is to really examine what’s going on, to sit in uncomfortable truth.
Give yourself some space, bring a notebook and pen, or a voice recorder. Feel into that anger and EVERYTHING your mind has attached to it. Write down or say everything that makes you feel angry, it doesn’t have to relate to a single situation. Without judging anything, just let it out – remember not all of what comes out is a true reflection of you, and its ok. Allow yourself to spew forth vitriol that may be irrational and untrue. Cry, shout, sigh, move your body in ways that aids this release.
I’m reminded of a beautiful clip I saw of conscious parenting, the father being present for his childs tantrum, holding space with patience, non-judging and keeping safe, while allowing the child to let out everything that was inside. In the end, after many minutes, the child seeks rest and comfort in his fathers’ arms. If we can parent ourselves this way, what amazing love and understanding can come from it.
When you come back to what was written or said after the dust has settled some, within what comes out, will usually be one thing you realise is the key to the hurt you are feeling – an aha moment that leads you to personal growth in the future. Also coming to light may be some practical boundary lines to be drawn, or some self care that has been neglected. That is the power of your anger. Something illuminating, you needed to see, and wouldn’t have if you hadn’t allowed yourself to process it. You will also see all the irrational things, that are not you, things you don’t identify with, things you can let go of.
Now, you may still feel some anger after this part of the process, so – recognise that anger as ENERGY – powerful energy that can be transmuted into drive & determination to create something GOOD for yourself. Anger is a fiery emotion, that element of fire is also the element of motivation, action, passion and LIGHT – it is possible to transform it by realising its core energy. Using your words in the release – the element of air, to fan those flames and turn the light up. The light of illumination, the light of action. Just as bushfires are an essential process of nature, bringing with it regeneration, this energy plays out within us too.
Challenge yourself – “So what are YOU going to DO with this/about this?” “How are you going to use this energy to your advantage?” Will you waste it by directing it at others, creating negative outcomes, or use it as a drive and determination to create change, achieve and do something new? This second phase of processing anger that can be so amazingly powerful, transmuting something that was shade, into light.
The true alchemy of life, turning lead into gold.