Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How To Let Anger Work For You, Part 2, Taming The Tiger

Anger is a great force. If you control it, it can be transmuted into a power which can move the whole world. William Shenstone

It's yours. That natural human emotion you may sometimes use as a remedy to relieve a sense of fear, frustration, invalidation, loss, whatever hurts; the results of your perceptions about external experiences and internal pain. And you may let your anger loose on someone or some thing. Deep down, you know it usually doesn't solve anything, except maybe give you a false sense of satisfaction and power. And you may even feel worse after each encounter. But you still go there. Yes, it's yours. And perhaps you've actually given it power over you. But you don't have to hang onto it.

During my years of angry outbursts, I too believed that lashing out would stop my pain. But it left me exhausted, and I still hurt inside. But I knew no other way. Then I learned there's another side to this phenomenon. Anger can be useful, if you can see it as a tool for positive change, rather than a remedy that doesn't work. It can help you understand your fears and correct your erroneous beliefs about yourself and others. Yes, it needs to be controlled, but it can help you grow into more of what you want to be.

Inner Work.
1. Begin your search for answers.
a. Write letters to yourself with questions: What am I afraid of? What in me feels threatened? What
in me needs changing?
b. Write down whatever answers you get.
c. Now confront each answer with positive descriptions of yourself, whether you believe it or not. Belief
will come as you practice. Emphasize peace, strength, power, etc.

2. Choose a quiet time each day to close your eyes and recall times when you were angry. Analyze what
you were feeling then. Without judgment, be honest and clear about your feelings. Then surround the anger and your feelings with a bright light of love and say, "Now I choose to release you with love." And watch them float away. If this is difficult, take some deep breaths and begin again. It will get easier.

If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.  Will Rogers

Outer Work.
1. While you're working on inner changes, you need a way to stop anger from taking over in the first place.
When anger suddenly grabs you in the pit of your stomach, that's when you need to breathe deep and say a
 key word like, No, Stop, Think, Whoa, whatever has strong meaning for you and will immediately stop
 you in your tracks. Yes, one word can do it. Stomping your foot helps too. 
2. Now acknowledge your anger and refocus your attention on affirming statements. I don't need to be
 right all the time; I'm fine just like I am; this can be fixed; that other person is just a big bag of wind;
 I have a right to be in control of my actions; etc. Use whatever fits to stop the feeling before it becomes full blown. Now you're on your way to taming the tiger. Work with it until it gives up.

Anger is pure energy, and it may still pop up once in a while. But you can use it to your advantage. If that happens, do something active. I do my best house cleaning when I'm angry. You can turn this enemy into an ally. Allow this energy to increase your self awareness and help you grow in truth.

I wish you understanding and peace in your life.


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