There was a time when my anger was a stranger to me, not welcomed and not wanted. I did not acknowledge its presence. It was also a time of my life when I felt used and worse. And when I could not take it anymore, my anger would burst out in uncontrollable ways. I would feel guilty and ashamed afterwards. I should not feel anger, I should be kind all the time. Regardless of the situation. I should let others step over my boundaries, allow any injustice and tolerate any type of behaviour and disrespect.
Many things that we allow in our lives are not ok. We have a right to be angry at those times.
People deal with their own anger in different ways. Some express it in destructive and violent ways that have serous consequences. Others may use passive aggression as a safer way to work with their anger. Anger can also be redirected from something or somebody that makes us angry, and we instead take it out on a safer target. We take it out on the waiter, a stranger, a child, an animal, another driver. Using anger in this way does not create honest, safe or satisfying relationship with ourselves, other people or our world. Nor does it resolve the situations that affect us and really trouble us.
The state of the world can be used as a distraction from our own life. We can feel angry at all the things we see wrong with the world, the politics, economy and the environment. Our anger can become generalised, loose focus and add to the feeling of being powerless. We redirect its wisdom and diffuse its power in our own lives. There is no need to stop the concern for the state of the world but even more important to you is your own life. And only awareness can give you the insight on how you are working with your own anger.
The decision to befriend your anger is a big step on the way to the authentic life. It is a decision to become aware of your inner world, a decision to listen to your inner guidance. Noticing what makes you angry and how your anger responds, brings your awareness into that situation. With awareness comes a choice. Many options are available at any moment but are missed if you don't notice them.
Anger has its own wisdom, it is our helper and it lets us know when something is not right. Who benefits when we keep stuffing our anger into our unconsciousness, when we don't listen to its voice? Who benefits from us not being aware that we are being used, when our boundaries have been overstepped over and over again? When we keep denying our own inner wisdom?
When we first start working with our own anger, it can feel intense, overwhelming and overpowering from the years of denying its voice. It will include many memories and emotions from the incidents from the past and it may not be wise to express it all at once. Ask your anger to work with you so you can express it in ways that are not damaging to you. You will be surprised at how cooperative it is when you choose to make it your friend. It does not have to be acted on at the very moment when you hear its voice, especially at the beginning when it carries so much of the past. It can be put on hold, but it will require a physical expression. Work with it at the gym, climb the mountain, chop wood.
Create a safe space and feel your anger, a time and a place where you won't be disturbed. Invite it in and listen to its roars and whispers. Feel its passion, its raw energy, observe how it transforms when it is felt, welcomed, loved. It will make you feel alive and wild and free.
It is grand and furious, passionate and fierce, unafraid. It will help you stand up for yourself, to say what needs to be said. It will stir the fire in the belly, the passion for life, how good it can feel. And the sheer joy of realising that anger is one of your greatest allies and partners. Not something to be feared.
Befriending your own anger will also enable you to allow the anger of others. Acknowledge if others feel angry at something you did. Allow them to express what bothers them. You may have overstepped their boundaries. Recognise and respect their space and build honest and open relationships.
Anger, your trusted friend, will always let you know. Its presence will alert you when you are not respected, when you are not honoured. It will give you the courage to say no and walk away. It will give you the courage to act on behalf of your own interests, for your own benefit, for your own health. And you will be able to do so without drama but with strength and clarity. Anger is your ally.