If a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that not indicate something about your size? ~Sydney J. Harris
One of the most destructive of all negative thought
patterns is anger.
It can lead to aggression, acts of violence, wars. When we are angry we do not listen, we react without thinking, we feel unsafe, alone and threatened. Our lives can become hellish if we are often angry, especially for those that are unable to have an outlet for their anger, not to mention those that do have an outlet - for often it is the less physically powerful that receive the brunt of anger's violence.
He who angers you conquers you. ~Elizabeth Kenny
people believe that anger and resentment (repressed anger) are the causes of many physical
diseases such as cancer and depression. To repress anger is extremely dangerous. It is as
though we are swallowing a black hole of whirling negative energy that
slowly eats us alive from the inside out.
This is sadly a normal (BUT NOT NATURAL) way to deal with anger. We are told we must not be angry, to hide it, to suck it in - but obviously none of these approaches work.
All they do is create a habit of storing this most powerful negative energy away, so it can eat us away spiritually and waiting for the tiniest impetus to explode.
Put very simply we feel anger when our world is threatened, when our expectations are not met.
From the spiritual point of view, the highest and most constructive purpose of anger is to act as a bludgeon of change. It can increase motivation, sharpen focus and provide the determination and power to change. It is like a fire that can sweep everything away and start anew.
A good example of this is with activists. Many activists are motivated by their anger at a perceived injustice, and their normal reaction is to fight anger with more anger.
This spiritually compounds the problem, because now there is even more anger and no-one performing actions to change the situation.
The higher solution is to peacefully and non-violently channel that anger into determination to change, and then simply go and perform the actions with love and empathy to make the highest progress.
For us, trying to find the highest purpose for anger, we must realize that its resolution can only be found in action, the channelling of that powerful energy into a positive outcome. We must realize that anger has usually come because the numerous other methods the universe has to guide us for some reason have not been followed by us or we have felt
If you kick a stone in anger, you'll hurt your own foot. ~Korean Proverb
So let's do it - to resolve anger we need to quickly
understand the real reason we are angry. So follow these steps.
A man is about as big as the things that make him angry - Winston Churchill
slowly and more deeply. This will help slow down thoughts and allow us to listen.
Listen to yourself, and if another is involved, really listen to them. Put yourself in their shoes.
What is threatening your world?
Be objective, calm and scientific, if you are angry with yourself then find its source. If you are 'reacting' with anger over tiny things then that is a sure sign that there is repressed anger that needs to be released.
Anger with someone else.
Is someone not meeting your expectations, are they threatening your world, your view of yourself? Listen for a moment and see if they are right. If you are blaming someone else or something else for your troubles then the only way out is forgiveness. Please read this again if you are not sure, the only way out for you when you blame someone or something for your troubles is to forgive. (We will do more on forgiveness in classes following)
to believe that you can use this energy. You CAN channel it and you don’t have to bottle it up inside. All you need to do is ACT. Resentment comes when we feel that we are powerless to act.
Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ~Malachy McCourt
This is the most important step. Ask yourself ‘what action should I be performing?' 'what can I do with this power? Remember that anger cannot be transformed without action. So look for the highest action.
If it is the right action you will feel the energy perfectly being channelled into the action. If you are still not sure after listening to yourself and really scientifically trying to understand what the anger is about, then you still need to rid yourself of this energy.
Go for a run or a walk, do some boxing or karate, sit on a mountain and meditate, or park yourself in your car, do up the windows, turn the music up and shout yourself free of that energy.
Anger ventilated often hurries toward forgiveness; and concealed often hardens into revenge. ~Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
Use positive internal or external dialog to reinforce your positive actions. 'I feel better already' you will hear yourself saying - so notice it and use it to empower yourself back to step 3 to continue the process.
Also be positive about your action - it may seem small but all you have to know is that every act of love is the highest act you can perform.
Like most people - you might also feel that you have repressed anger in your life. Search it out, forgive those you need to forgive (those you have blamed), let go of all that is binding you and allow yourself to live free from anger.
I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to. ~Author Unknown
destructive thought patterns can be done very powerfully with affirmations.
They are a kind of a training drill that transforms destructive into
constructive. For example, a really good affirmation for anger might be
"There is no place in my life for anger and the extra energy I get I am going to use to effortlessly, lovingly and joyously change and progress"
"All is well in my world, everything is exactly as it should be. Anger is the hard way to truth but for some reason that is the way I am travelling this time"
"I love myself totally."
"I forgive myself and others completely."
"I release all anger and resentments now."
We’ll try that in our free downloadable meditation exercise below, but you may want to compose your own. Try recording it for yourself and play it over and over again during the day, you’ll be amazed at the effect it will have on your life.