“Anger is a great force. If you control it, it can be transmuted into a power which can move the whole world.” ~ William Shenstone ~
It’s yours. That natural human emotion you may sometimes use as a remedy to relieve a sense of fear, frustration, invalidation, loss, whatever hurts; the results of your perceptions about external experiences and internal pain. And you let your anger loose on someone or some thing. Deep down, you know it usually doesn’t solve anything, except maybe give you a false sense of satisfaction and power. Yes, it’s yours. And perhaps you’ve actually given it power over you. But you don’t have to hang onto it.
During my years of angry outbursts, I too believed that lashing out would stop my pain. But it left me exhausted, and I still hurt inside. But I knew no other way. Then I learned there’s another side to this phenomenon. Anger can be useful, if you can see it as a tool for positive change, rather than a remedy that doesn’t work. It can help you understand your fears and correct your erroneous beliefs about yourself or others. Yes, it needs to be controlled, but it can help you be more of what you want to be.
Anger tells us there’s something inside that needs our close attention, and it’s not caused by an external experience or our own imperfection. You can’t change other people, and you can’t be perfect. But you can change your inner beliefs and perceptions, the real causes of your anger. The better you know and understand yourself, the better you’re able to deal with destructive anger.
1. Begin your search for answers.
a. Write letters to yourself with questions: What am I afraid of? What in me feels threatened? What in me needs changing?
b. Write down whatever answers you get.
c. Now confront each answer with positive descriptions of yourself, whether you believe it or not. Belief will come as you practice. Emphasize peace, strength, power, etc.
2. Choose a quiet time each day to close your eyes and recall times when you were angry, and analyze what you were feeling then. Without judgment, be honest and clear about those feelings. Then surround the anger and your feelings with a bright light of love and say, “Now I choose to release you with love.” And watch them float away. If this process seems difficult, take some deep breaths and begin again. It will become easier.
If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Will Rogers
1. While you’re working on inner changes, you need a way to stop anger from taking over in the first place. When anger suddenly grabs you in the pit of your stomach, that’s when you need to breathe deep and say a key word like, No, Stop, Think, Whoa, whatever has strong meaning for you and will immediately stop you in your tracks. Yes, one word can do it. Stomping your foot helps too.
2. Now acknowledge your anger and refocus your attention on affirming statements. I don’t need to be right all the time; I’m fine just like I am; this can be fixed; that other person is just a big bag of wind; I have a right to be in control of my actions; etc. Use whatever fits to stop the feeling before it becomes full blown. Now you’re on your way to taming the tiger. Work with it until it gives up.
Anger is pure energy, and it may still pop up once in a while. But you can use it to your advantage. If that happens, do something ‘active’. I do my best house cleaning when I’m angry. You can turn this enemy into an ally. Allow this energy to increase self-awareness and help you grow in truth.
I wish you understanding and peace in your life.
Author, Marilyn Fowler ~ My New Book!