Anger is an emotion that forces us to look deeper within ourselves and examine our relationship to the world. In many ways, it is a perfect reflection of the idea that we have a choice when it comes to how we respond and react to events and people in our lives. That choice, if a positive one, can benefit our own peace of mind and higher consciousness, along with improving our relationships.
If we can develop a new way of recognizing anger, listening to it, feeling it, and letting it go, we will have achieved a path to joyfulness. Anger’s reach can be so destructive, whether in our personal interactions or as manifest in depression, illness or violence.
Anger and depression are versions of the same thing. Anger is negative energy projected outwards; depression is that energy projected inwards. What is at the core of that energy? It is the consequence of the struggle between what you want, and what the Universe wants. It is the friction of you going in one direction and the Universe tugging you in another direction. It is you resisting the Universe’s love for you because you think you are unlovable. If we fight this energy, which is the true force behind our lives, we find ourselves struggling with anger and depression, unaware of how to find the light and joy that our thinking won’t allow.
Depression is a decision by people, either consciously or unconsciously, to refuse to participate in life. We see a lack of enthusiasm in depressed people. With addictions, there is an overflow of enthusiasm but in an unhealthy, misdirected way. Drugs, alcohol, food, money, people, places and things become the objects of desire and the desperation to have them, thinking they are key to blunting pain, is out of control. Anger that is not dealt with properly and lovingly feeds depression. In the case of addictions, the depression acts out and harms us. It covers up the feelings we need to work through.
Though we think of violence as a physical action that manifests in a very perceptible way, inner, psychological violence causes far more damage than outside violence ever will. Violence in the world is merely a mirror of people’s inner suffering. War will never stop until humans end the violence in their own hearts. The same is true for the battles you play out in your life. Those clashes exist inside you, and have to be looked at, but you must also address the external ones. A cease-fire, in effect, has to be called in order to heal your inner struggles. Much like the classic “chicken or the egg” dilemma, neither the internal nor external comes first. You can’t heal unless you approach them both. If you spend all of your time fighting your family, boss, co-workers, society, and God, you don’t have the energy to deal with the inner conflicts. If you impose some calm on the workings of your life, you can be still, focused and disciplined enough to bring peace to your heart. Your inner battle against anger is fought between the duality of nature – between the illusions of right and wrong, and of good and evil. If you are coming from a place of integrity, your mind, body, and actions are in alignment. In this state, you cannot be provoked by anger.
The Power of Thought
Anger emerges with a thought. It all starts there. It feels as if anger forms within us, but in reality, we attract negativity from the outside world. Positive thoughts and outlooks reside within ourselves. That is our natural, true state. The key is to tap into this inherent potential and shift our understanding. External forces impact us and we develop our thoughts about them. We have the choice as to how they will affect us. When a thought sets off anger, and that chemical reaction kicks in, we are in a spiral of negative thinking. If we know how to stay in our enlightened energy, our thoughts can’t take us down that destructive path. Meditation is a great way to learn how to keep our thoughts positive.
When anger becomes an emotion that flows through you, without fear, and then is released, your heart will open to the extraordinary potential of a truly happy life.
Don’t fear anger – face it and feel it, and then let it go. If we ignore anger and shove it aside, we’ll miss a true opportunity to go deeper into ourselves. If we are afraid of these feelings, no matter how uncomfortable it is to sit with them, they will only rise again, misunderstood and toxic to our health, happiness and the energy we put out into the world.
Derek O’Neill, fondly referred to as the Celtic Sage, inspires and uplifts people from all walks of life, offering guidance to influential world leaders, businesses, celebrities, athletes and everyday people alike. Distilled from his life work in psychotherapy, a martial arts career and study with wise yogis and Indian and Tibetan masters, Derek translates ancient wisdom into modern day teachings to address the biggest challenges facing humanity today. For additional insights listen to his free radio archives or order his books on Anger, Mindfulness, Anxiety, Stress and Depression.
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