If we had the choice, most of us would rather not deal with anger – especially when it involves feeling it towards some sort of internal limit or barrier we feel inside ourselves.
‘I’m angry because I can’t manage or accept X, Y, or Z and I’m angry for being angry about that.’
The variations on this statement alone could cause enough internal upset in enough people to fill all the schedules of every psychologist on the planet, forever. We often feel offence in the face of things we don’t feel capable of managing because we seek to control more than our fair share without consideration of the outside world – which is infinitely bigger than we are. To it, we are a spec.
From our birth to our death there will be hundreds of millions of people that never notice us, a few hundred that will and out of those hundred fewer still will value us.
Knowing we matter so little should free us, but it doesn’t. So why anger over freedom?
Because our world begins with us, and we know we’re hopelessly inadequate in every way to expand that world to meet our many needs in the larger one around us. This is where anger comes from. Ego meeting the cold and indifferent world.
We can’t change the indifference of the world, so most of us just stew in our heads wishing to be more than we are, accomplishing nothing but forming stronger and strong opinions on our helplessness and learning to use it as an excuse to waste away.
Most of us fear anger for these reasons and rightfully so. There is no shortage of examples of its destructive power in our private lives.
But what happens when this wasted anger gets repurposed rather than squandered on directionless outbursts and learned helplessness?
It becomes energy.
When we’re angry, we certainly don’t get calmer. We start to swell up inside with strong emotions, our thoughts flow quickly, our heart rate rises, our stress hormones become elevated, we may even start to sweat. If the anger gets powerful enough, we even get stronger and smarter for a short period of time as we get ready to unleash our tongues and/or fists to give all these energies a place to go.
This is the common man’s response to this sort of energy, but it is by no means the only response available to us.
The less common alternatives and productive uses of anger energy can, as readily as any other energy, be used to create and empower us to take action , grow, create, and change.
In fact, things such as growth and change are much less likely to occur if anger isn’t present in the first place.
Think about it. Where would we be today in the fight for equality in the areas of human rights, animal rights, poverty, art, race, gender, and sexual freedom and even innovations in technology without the appropriate and directed use of anger energy? Not far. In most cases we may never have seen a need to start in the first place.
The positive global changes that anger has helped can also apply to us but only if we understand the deeper reason for our anger.
While it’s true that we can become angry suddenly in day to day situations, it is much more likely that these situations simply amplify something that’s already inside us.
Being rejected by a potential parter is a common example that can bring up anger that can at first seem directed at them, but if we look deeper it’s often masking the anger we already felt about feeling like we aren’t good or capable enough to deserve a partner to begin with.
Instead of being angry at the other person, look deeper and ask yourself questions about what’s really going on inside. Turn it into energy with which to solve an internal or external problem instead of creating more problems to further mask its source.
We all carry anger, so we all carry energy. Learning to use it constructively is the key difference between making our live better, or destroying it.
Each of us has the freedom to choose what our anger brings.