You Don’t Have To Use It…

There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.   -PLATO

Anger.  It’s been a dirty word our entire lives, unless you’ve been brought up a warlord.   We’re not supposed to be angry, yet we are (at least some of the time), and if we are, well, that’s just wrong – it is, after all, one of the Seven deadly sins.   You’re supposed to avoid it at all costs.

Well, yes and no.

As with most things, there’s a good side, and a bad side and you have to BALANCE it.  Or it’s unhealthy EITHER way.

Too much of it?  That’s an addictive habit and will destroy almost every area of your life quicker than loved ones running for the door to get away from your vitriol.

Too little?  That’s denial, a doormat, fertile soil for confidence and self esteem issues, and a powder keg ready and waiting to blow.

After our stereotypical plastic figurehead and CEO, Rik Tyghers, pitched a fit– literally stomping his Italian leather shod foot and throwing crumpled paper to the floor – over his newly redecorated office, (He, being the egomaniacal, entitled, vain showman he is, opted for post apocalyptic French Provencal nihilism, the decorator went with Art Deco), the brain trust here at CC got to thinking about anger.

Unrealistic expectations – This is the root of anger.  Or, our unrealistic/unfulfilled expectations.  Some may call it entitlement.

Unless  you’re in a life threatening circumstance, getting angry is a reaction to some perceived threat, insult, or injustice and a knee jerk attempt to cover up the hurt, disappointment, or frustration that our expectations – or worse, entitlements – have not, are not, and/or will not be actualized.

Within your anger is the reaction to and masking of all the hurt you’ve experienced in the past, if and when someone knowingly, or unknowingly, makes you feel disregarded, devalued, distrusted, guilty, rejected, unloved, or powerless.  Current circumstances have triggered some vulnerable, unhealed, and sensitive, yet self preserving, part of you, into remembering the awful feelings of abandonment, inadequacies, or any other wretched emotions you were too young to cope with. For a lot of us, this is where we stay, or retreat back to, with our anger.

At its worst, anger can become an all consuming and self defining addiction, leading to a HOST of problems and trouble in your life, the least of which is loneliness.  No matter how great you think you’re personality is, no one wants to be around a miserable wretch.  And as appealing as your anger makes that sound, that’s not you talking, it’s the anger.

Battle not with monsters
lest ye become a monster
and if you gaze into the abyss
the abyss gazes into you.

-Friedrich Nietzsche

You are what you think, do, act, and hang out with.  Don’t let an anger ‘habit’ become an addiction that will only let you respond, do, and be one way – angry.  How many great outcomes is this REALLY going to produce for you?

I EXPECT that my partner/parents/sibling/children love me, are never moody, and will never hurt me.  What’s the reality?  While the first part may be true, unreal expectations of someone or something being perfect, or the way YOU want them/it to be, will lead to hurt by other peoples words or actions, intentionally cruel or not.  They’re individual people with individual and unique perspectives, which, like your own, also get skewed.

Your first reaction of blinding rage that you (were made to) feel this way and that you should NOT have to experience this pain again, may not be the best or most accurate for you.  Who’s making you feel this way?  WHY shouldn’t you have to experience it?  YOU haven’t miraculously healed since the last meltdown, so what do you think is going to happen?  The ONLY person you have control over is YOU, whether you think so or not.  That’s the only person you can heal – emotionally, physically, spiritually, etc.  Until you face it, and heal it, it will be a constant source of pain and anger for you – coming up again and again, stopping only until you finally DO something about it other than ruminate.

If you’re having, and have had, anger issues, it’s time to give you a break.  Go to the CC lounge, give your order to the friendly gourmet coffee barista, take a load off in one of the recliners, and have a break from your anger.  You’re off duty.

Give yourself a break from the balls to the wall anger you’re so busy with.  It doesn’t mean you have to be Pollyanna F. Sunshine – just try to give YOURSELF the break.  Don’t think about the hurt, the anger, the disappointment, the frustration, any more than you have to.  You’re giving away more of YOUR energy/life than necessary to the situation, or worse, another person.  YOU, with your consent, thinking and behaviour have given away even MORE of and control over yourself (to the person or situation you may have even come to hate with your anger) by continuing to fly the flag of fury.   I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but (almost) no one cares but you. It’s like a REVERSE FAN CLUB.  Think about how much attention you’re giving them – it’s FANATICAL!  Think more of yourself, because you’re better than that and do deserve more of, and in, life.

Stop, drop, roll, and get the hell out of the self made globe of death, and THINK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE.  OR DO SOMETHING ELSE WITH THIS ENERGY. (How to transmute and channel this energy in the next post.)

Like it or not the anger IS a part of you.  A part you’ve been denying, but which will not, and cannot, be silenced.  It WILL come up.  It WILL be heard.  Stamping down the anger is only packing the charge with MORE TNT, ensuring an eventual meltdown and possible obliteration – of life, relationships, career, etc.   For once, WORK with it, rather than resisting and being owned and defined by it.  Work with what IS, and then go from there.

The anger/energy has to be bled off in some way – preferably one you’re aware of. And bonus points for actually directing your anger consciously!  If not, give a warm welcome to binge eating, crippling depression and anxiety, drinking, drugging, gambling, violent outbursts, and sex addiction, to name only a few.    It WILL come out in some way.  And it WILL turn to bitterness if not addressed properly or constructively.  Was anger and bitterness on your list of future hopes and dreams as a child?  If so, then by all means continue the destructive path.  If not, maybe you need to make some course corrections.

Bottom line is that PRACTICING and making your thoughts, responses, and behaviours more positive and constructive (for YOU) means that (your) life just works better.    You’re more creative, good –natured, strong, confident, in control of yourself, and have better health, again to name  only a few.  Isn’t that what you really want?

Think about the (myriad internal and external) OUTCOMES of YOUR choices – WHY ARE YOU SCREWING YOURSELF OVER FIRST?  You CHOOSE to be and continue the anger, and ONLY you.  FIND a way to work with it and finally move on with your life.

We’re not going to leave you hanging, so there’ll be some suggestions on accepting, dealing, and working with your anger in the NEXT POST.

For now, we’re spent.

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