Anger is an ugly emotion. It can be ugly to see and ugly to feel, and at its worst is dangerous. So often we look away, try not to see it, try to suppress feeling it, or we attack it and actively fight it either within ourselves or in someone else. We do everything but really look at it.
Anger is an important emotion. It tells us something is wrong, something needs to be addressed. It may be an internal conflict or a situation or an environment, but we might not actually know until we calmly sit with it and examine it, examine it without judgment, without defensiveness, without blame. Sometimes what we perceive as the cause of our anger is not really it at all, it stems from something far deeper than what it looks like on the surface.
Anger is an alarm bell, a warning sign. Ask yourself:
- What is the problem?
- What is the real cause?
- What needs to be addressed?
- Is there something I can do or is there nothing I can do?
- If there is nothing I can do right now is there a plan I can put in place to change things in the future?
If there is really nothing you can do you still have something to do – to let the anger go. It’s only in truly understanding it though that we are able to effectively do that.
Anger in itself is not a problem, it’s the way we handle it – or not – that is the problem, and it’s when we deal with it the wrong way that it can become destructive. The next time you feel angry, take the wind out of its sails by really looking at it and understanding it. We feed more energy to an emotion by fighting it than if we accept it and address it head on.