I recently had someone (scream) at me “can’t anger EVER just be about anger? Does it ALWAYS have to be about something else?” It doesn’t always "have” to be about something else. It just typically is. Sure, every once in awhile anger is healthy response to an injustice. Until it isn’t. When it festers, when it gets stuck in our brains it almost always protecting something deeper. A wound, a fear, an insecurity, or a deep sadness. It’s always protecting ego, our belief that we need to be right, because if we’re right we will be safer. It’s brilliant. Until it isn’t. Anger can feel amazing. It has powerful energy and if used properly can propel us forward toward the solution. But more times than not it can keep us solidly stuck in the problem.
The challenge is understanding its meaning, what lies under the armor of it. Treating our anger like we would treat a toddler in the midst of a temper tantrum is the beginning of resolution. Our job is to acknowledge the energy, stay away from sharp objects (ie emails, texts & phone calls) until the energy subsides. First, we do no harm. We focus on not creating messes we will be required to clean up down the road, unless we enjoy cleaning up said messes. We step back from the windows. We wait. And then we inquire with compassion “are we frightened? What is making us feel threatened emotionally? Are we grieving something or someone, perhaps the stories about who we believe we and you should be? Are we worried about not getting something we believe we need, or losing something we believe we cannot live without? What are we believing about what’s happening? Self-compassion is, as always, everything. Healing begins the moment we wonder if something else might be going on, if there might be an answer we cannot yet see.
Anger can just be anger. It’s just usually not. Tread ever so gently