Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What About Anger?

As children we're told we should never get angry. Impossible. It's a normal human emotion--an emotion that can be destructive or, when dealt with wisely, can lead to personal growth and teach us how to deal with the bumps in our life when we run into them. We can use this powerful energy to work for us or against us.

When I was in my twenties I had a temper--not just a temper, but a really bad one. I yelled, threw things and broke whatever I got my hands on during one of my tantrums. But how strange, it never solved anything. Then on my 30th birthday, I began looking at what anger is, why we get angry, and what we can do with it. Someone said to me, "When you get angry at what someone does or fails to do, don't look at their actions. Look inside yourself to see what, in you, caused you to respond with anger." So I looked inside and began finding answers.

Anger is a signal that something in us has been triggered and needs attention. Is it fear, lack of confidence, an unmet need, or maybe unrealistic expectations? Or something else? Inner reflection is necessary to discover what needs to be changed inside. Once we discover what has been triggered, then we can deal with that. The energy that comes with anger can motivate us to do something we should have been doing anyway, like mopping the kitchen floor, cleaning out a closet or learning to say no.

Sometimes anger tells us we need to change something on the outside too. If a situation can be resolved, then resolve it. If not, then release it, and use your energy for better things. The issue is not that we get angry, but what we do with it to make our life, and those around us, healthier and happier.

Catch anger when it first begins to creep up inside, or it will build on itself and get out of hand. Celebrate each time you deal with your anger in a productive way. You're growing.

Let's turn our stormy days to peaceful ones. The world could use some of that.

Marilyn

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