Photo by Josh Hild

Why Bother Considering Anger?

For the longest time, the dominant emotion in my life was anger. But recently, as I went through a normal day, I perceived a smorgasbord of  feelings; angry, anxious, calm, cautious, competitive, concerned, confused, curious, delighted, empathetic, energetic, hopeful, humored, hurried impatient, joyful, playful, relaxed, sad, tired, and worried. These various emotions validate the fact that anger no longer dominates my landscape. 

Grateful for Awareness

 I’ve become more emotionally intelligent concerning those feelings of animosity, wrath, rage and fury. And for this I am grateful. Noticing my occasional ill will reminds me that I am a regular, ordinary human being. 

I did not grow up in an emotionally intelligent household. I was never taught to be intuitive about my indignation. No one ever told me that being human included experiencing ire, a hot temper and some hostility. Neither did anyone tell me the value in acknowledging, owning and talking about the rancor that rose up inside of me at times. It was only later in life I discovered the usefulness in writing down in a journal the vindictiveness I felt, discussing my malevolence with my spouse, mentioning why I felt witchy to my sons, and being honest with my friends about my spitefulness. 

Instead, when I was a kid, I learned from watching the adults in my life that anger should be avoided at all costs. When an older sibling or one of my parents got mad they’d yell, stomp their feet, or hurl objects through the air. Since I did not want to ever look like them, I attempted to ignore or deny my anger. That did not bode well. 

Consequently, I began educating myself about the venom that accumulated inside of me  and here is what I learned.   

First of all, we cannot avoid getting angry. It happens to all of us at some time or another. Realizing what triggers our enmity is helpful, but anger will never completely vanish from our lives. However, when we acknowledge our animosity and own it, it can reveal a great deal to us if we are willing to pay attention. 

Secondly, though the energy produced from anger can be dangerous, I’ve discovered this same energy can be useful. When hostility rises up inside of me I know it. My whole interior is suddenly flooded with adrenaline. When that happens it is my signal that I need to do something different; take a deep breath, go for a walk, or move my thinking onto something lighter than what seems so serious at the moment. 

Finally, noticing where my anger shows up in my body and choosing to take healthy actions, prevents me from saying or doing something I will regret. 

Why bother considering anger? When we don’t consider our anger it goes inward where it festers into all kinds of illnesses including but not limited to: depression, high blood pressure, addictions, over eating, and obesity. On the other hand, acknowledging and learning from our resentment, spite and malice will only make us more intelligent.


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