How do you feel about Anger?
Sometimes people deliberately choose to harm others with their anger and these actions leave lots of people with the impression that anger is a bad thing. A more accurate statement is that anger can be dangerous or extremely positive. Like fire. It needs to be contained and used with caution and careful thought.
Fire can burn us. But if we are wise, fire has been used from the beginning of time for providing light, heat, making tools and cooking food. Fire can be productive and nourishing. It can be constructive and clarifying.
When I listen to people like Martin Luther King Jr… I hear anger. When I see Jesus addressing religious leaders who made following God more burdensome then helpful I hear anger in his words.
But there is a time when even our words need to express outrage without shredding our audience to bits. Injustice ignored for the fear of losing the pleasantries of our comfort or privilege, is selfishness.
Dealing with anger in a wise way requires practice rather than suppression of anger. Some people stuff anger down till it turns into depression because they have been trained to believe feeling angry is one the most heinous and hideous emotions they can exude. But here is the reality about it: anger is not sinful and you can get angry without hurting anyone.
More often than not people simply don’t know how to control or contain their anger, so it unintentionally comes flying out of the water like a beach ball that has been suppressed under the water that bounds up frantically without aim or control hitting someone in the face.
We can bottle up anger and let it eat us alive or we can learn to express it and understand it. Turning anger on ourselves or blaming one self, can end up being a path to avoid anger but it isn’t healthy and leads to cognitive dissonance rather than being able to productively address real issues. Repression ends up blocking our agency, and ability to make healthy decisions about what to do in any given situation.
Repression of anger (because you are afraid of it and see it as a negative) leads to more unconstrained outbursts than people who have learned to be comfortable yet cautious with anger, as something that has it’s place and way to be handled.
How much have you been shamed or guilted to avoid anger and how does a lack of dealing with anger lead to being overtaken by that anger?