Anger – how exactly do you deal with anger when it arises within you, and when it is all consuming, and you can think of nothing else, and you are seething mad at everyone for everything, but more so at yourself for not living and speaking your truth in situations?
It is 01:37 in the early hours of the morning, and I find myself wide awake, at peace, and with a message that wants to be expressed. So I have a nice warm cappuccino at hand, lights are dimmed, I am in my newly arranged office (which has been arranged in such a way so as to let energy flow seamlessly) and which is calming and pleasant to work in.
I am going to share with you an experience I had this Saturday morning (I work on Saturdays too – out of choice). I woke up this Saturday morning in an incredibly angry state of mind. Nothing had happened as a pinnacle reason for this anchor. However, there were admittedly small situations which when accumulated together, amounted to this anger bubble within me. My initial response would have been one of A.T.T.A.C.K. – but soon you realize that the only person you are truly damaging is yourself. As the saying goes – if you are going all out for revenge, remember to dig two graves. One for you and one for the person/s who have supposedly aggrieved you.
Lesson 1 in ACIM (hereinafter referred to as A Course in Miracles), is perhaps the most fundamental of all. It basically sums up the idea that nothing I see is as it seems. I am not angry for the reason/s I think I am angry, which, of course, is yet another of the 365 lessons you will find in ACIM. I have included the lesson below for your reference and interest, but you do not need to read it to get a full understanding of the message in this article.
Here are some also interesting quotes from the Buddha about anger:
- To be angry is to let others’ mistakes punish yourself.
- There is no fire like passion.
- You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.
- You are the first victim of your own anger.
Whichever way you look at it, anger does you damage, and whilst vengeance might be bitter-sweet, in the end, you do sow what you reap. This is a universal spiritual / natural law, and it is what it is.
But how exactly do you purge yourself of this all empowering and overwhelming sense of anger? When you literally want to go on the mountain tops and scream at the top of your lungs. Or as my late step-mother and some friends still do to this day – go for a drive in your car and just scream. I actually find this to be really cathartic. A releasing of the anger energy within you. Being angry with someone else is like holding a burning coal in your hand, thinking you are hurting another. The only person you are hurting is you.
But NONE of this helped me experience a transition from anger to joy. Wise words indeed. Spiritually in tune with the laws of life, but still not enough to shift the state of anger to one of true inner peace. So what do you do? The answer is so simple that you might not think it will work. But hey, don’t trust me, just give it a try – what do you have to lose, apart from becoming angry yet again that it did not work. But I assure you, if you do this wholeheartedly, with the intention of just being with your anger, you will soon see it disappear soon enough.
And this is what I did. I felt an inner stirring within me to just sit with my anger. No resistance. No judgment. Just to sit with it and observe it. No trying to analyze the cause, just an earnest look at the anger within. Pretty much as an outsider, an observer of sorts. And that is exactly what I did. I refused to give in to my anger. I did not add fuel to the fire. I just sat with it. As uncomfortable as that was I realized a fundamental truth. Anger is just another emotion that holds a high intensity in one’s body and mind. But to let this anger dissipate, you need to first acknowledge that it has no power of you, that you are the observer, and that you can watch it enter and leave your mind and body just as quickly as it appeared.
Remember, you are NEVER EVER EVER angry for the reasons you think you are. Here are my practical examples:
- First, I noticed that I had inner anger at someone for not doing something that I thought should be done in the name of treating their animals correctly. Judgmental and not helpful.
- Second, I was annoyed at a friend for procrastinating in their life, when all they seemed to need to do is merely take a bold step in the right direction.
- Thirdly, I was angry at someone for something they were doing that I am more than certain they were not even aware of the situation.
- First, I decided that I needed to set boundaries between myself and the people not looking after their pets. I sent them a message explaining why I could no longer assist them with certain things, and then we spoke about it. The boundaries I set for myself were so liberating, and I did this in love, standing my ground in truth, and letting the anger dissipate in the process.
- Secondly, I have decided that many people want someone to do things for them when in fact they can learn to do these things on their own. So, I am now living the practice of – teach a man to fish and he will never go hungry. So if someone needs my help on something, instead of parting with my valuable time, I help them by giving them the direction and tools that I think will serve them best.
- Thirdly, I politely and lovingly explained to the other party that what they were doing was causing damage to property and had to be changed. They understood.
So having read the above, perhaps you can relate to some of these situations, but what has helped me the most is the following:
- Things are NEVER as they seem.
- You are NEVER angry for the reason/s you think you are.
- And finally, just be open to have loving, respectful and direct communication with parties that you might need to set boundaries with.
Because, after all, I was more angry with myself (how destructive internally and a thief of my time, peace and joy) for not having setting healthy boundaries in the first place.
People are all individuals. Some are energy parasites, some are lazy and do not want to do the work themselves, some are paralyzed by fear – but by showing them love and setting healthy boundaries, you will see your anger dissipate in no time at all.
So next time you find yourself all consumed with anger, just sit with it without adding fuel to fire. Remember nothing is as it seems, and 9/10 times the anger is misdirected and really we are angry with ourselves. Inward anger can cause all forms of complications, from stress, high blood pressure to other forms of dis-ease. So give yourself the gift of peace, and try this each time you feel anger rising to the surface.
You CAN do this!
I love you.
ACIM – LESSON 1
Nothing I see in this room [on this street,
1. Now look slowly around you, and practice applying this idea very specifically to whatever you see:
- This table does not mean anything.
- This chair does not mean anything.
- This hand does not mean anything.
- This foot does not mean anything.
- This pen does not mean anything.
2. Then look farther away from your immediate area, and apply the idea to a wider range:
- That door does not mean anything.
- That body does not mean anything.
- That lamp does not mean anything.
- That sign does not mean anything.
- That shadow does not mean anything.
3. Notice that these statements are not arranged in any order, and make no allowance for differences in the kinds of things to which they are applied. That is the purpose of the exercise. The statement should merely be applied to anything you see. As you practice the idea for the day, use it totally indiscriminately. Do not attempt to apply it to everything you see, for these exercises should not become ritualistic. Only be sure that nothing you see is specifically excluded. One thing is like another as far as the application of the idea is concerned.
4. Each of the first three lessons should not be done more than twice a day each, preferably morning and evening. Nor should they be attempted for more than a minute or so, unless that entails a sense of hurry. A comfortable sense of leisure is essential.