Anger is a great emotion. So much power lies within it. It stirs our entire being and is like a climax of energy when released. And like everything powerful it comes with it holds the power to create and to destroy.
Creatively, anger can transform us. If we understand its source and seek a way to manifest the purity of the energy dwelling there, it is a vital force of empowerment.
Anger always has something underneath. Most times when I’m angry it’s because of feeling powerless, feeling disappointed, or feeling frustrated. These feelings arise from my incapacity to create what I want to see manifest in the world. I’m in despair. Hopelessness. The last resort to is to fight for what I want. To lash out at my perceived persecutor.
On the other hand, if I can sit with my anger long enough, I can realize that there is a force for something wonderful happening underneath it. I want connection, meaningful relationship, justice, freedom, understanding, and community. And I’m not right now creating any of it. But if I try, I can regroup and learn from what has not worked. And live to express again, and again. Until the flower begins to bloom from all the awareness, learning, and growth that comes from rising from the ashes of hopelessness.
The unconscious expression of my anger, on the other hand, creates an incoming bullet, a disconnection, and even the destruction of a relationship. The very thing I crave – destroyed.
So as Victor Frankl so wisely suggested, if I could only pause in that moment between the feeling and the expression and wisely consider the delivery, I might save myself from becoming the destroyer and instead become the transformer. And it’s not easy. It takes failing and noticing many times over. Like the child learning to walk learning from each fall. So dear God, let me fall and notice. But please let me notice so I can learn.
And to my children who are no longer children, I sincerely apologize for all the expressions of my thoughtless anger that I may have inflicted upon you. And although it may not console the hurt you may still carry, please know that I have learned from each fall. And as imperfect as I still may be, I would hope you might concede, be a little wiser now.
Michael Lee is the founder of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. He resides in Great Barrington MA, and in Jan 2018 will be offering an eight week program on Monday nights on Navigating Change. Details here.