By Laura Castanza and Julia George © 2009
How do we learn to deal with the most powerful and improperly expressed energy on the planet, ANGER? This emotion resides within each one of us. Yet, we either deny its existence or use it as a primary motivating force in an attempt to manipulate situations and others to our will, never creating a desired outcome in the bigger picture. Anger unacknowledged and blindly unleashed, is toxic and destructive. But when we learn to identify its presence within us, we can channel this potent impetus positively and creatively. Anger is one of our greatest teachers, calling our attention to change and to heal at the very core of our being.
The root of anger exists deep within our emotional body. Feelings associated with anger are frustration, injustice, impatience, intolerance, and judgment…just to name a few. If we break our feelings down into either love or fear, anger lives in the realm of fear. As children, we were exposed to the fear and anger of our caregivers and society. Anger could have been the dominant energy, or suppressed in a household that openly expressed love. But because this planet is dualistic in nature, fear and love are interchangeable within our emotional body. We cannot know love without fear, peace without anger, or calm without chaos, and none of these emotional states can be experienced simultaneously.
What calls our attention to anger is its expression. In either an outward display or an internal process, our conscious control of this energy is the necessary step into transforming the destructive to the constructive. Until we become aware of the energy of anger within us, our expression will remain primitive or in the model of our familial pattern. The end result will be an illness that manifests from repressing our anger, or a violent episode that erupts from our lack of control, releasing a blanket of debris, polluting our self and our environment.
Rage is an outward expression of anger by those of us who validate our self through extreme verbal and non-verbal displays of energy. We scream, yell, throw tantrums, and physically contort our body to convey a message of displeasure. When enraged, we cannot see, hear, or sense anything else and are locked into the “red zone” like a vicious canine. Ground breaking Psychologist, Carl Jung wrote “Whatever is rejected from the self appears as an event.” Unchecked, rage turns violent as we assault our self from the inside out during extreme stress, or surrounding circumstances react with the same energy. Even if violence does not ensue, the actions transpired by rage equate to a bomb going off, resulting in irreparable harm to all involved.
A more subtle yet equally toxic expression of anger is that of the passive aggressive. Covert verbal and non-verbal communication occurs usually in softer tones, sarcasm, silence, and manipulative messaging to convey our madness to others. Unlike the immediate/impulsive nature of rage, passive aggression is a seething, simmering energy that brews inside of us for longer periods of time. When expressed, it is as intense and damaging as rage without the drama.
Another internal process of anger that is often not acknowledged is depression. Depression occurs from anger turned inward and also has a devastating effect on those in contact with it. Depression is a self-imposed prison of guilt, anguish, and isolation, resulting from insurmountable anger. There is so much unresolved anger buried so deeply that navigating out of this hell is near impossible because of our limited beliefs and emotional turmoil.
Acknowledging the energy of anger as a primary shadow character in our lives and our world, we have an opportunity to learn a great deal from this master manipulator. If we look at anger as a tree with roots, we can trace it to the very foundation of our family, culture, and society. Inequality and dominance apparent in familial roles, cultural beliefs, and societal stigmas would naturally breed anger based on inherent injustice. Ironically, this realization can be comforting as we begin to unearth this part of our self and discover we are born into our emotional issues that inevitably need healing. Moving beyond the past into the present of our adulthood is where we can make the choice to take responsibility and change our patterns. If we decline this responsibility, we compound the problem. Anger is an indicator that something needs to change…that something is us. Otherwise, we continue to shadow our world with our unhealed negative emotions.
In practicing present moment awareness, we begin to truly get in touch with the angry part of our self. Intimidating at first, we can make a monster of this molehill because the many positive qualities we encompass become over shadowed by this primary character. When not working from a place of love, anger is the alternative for most of us. The physiological addiction to anger is a reality that is sorely overlooked. The physical “rush” comes from increasing blood pressure and tension in our upper body that gives us a false sense of power and strength. Literally, the hair on the back of our neck stands up as we lean forward into aggressive posturing, attacking our bodies from the inside out. But this is not real power, and our addiction to the recreation of this sensation will ultimately compromise our wellbeing.
Since anger is a destructive force in the unconscious mind built upon years of conditioning, our conscious awareness will afford us the opportunity to use this energy wisely and creatively. Wisdom will surface from the ability to observe our feelings (including anger), without being swept away; this practice of non-judgmental awareness takes time to cultivate and is solidly supported by connecting with others who are consciously cultivating their individual emotional awareness.
Our living experience in the world, will offer us countless opportunities to show us our anger as part of our “Human Condition”. How we conduct our self with this new awareness is our choice. If we continuously react to negative energy with the like, we will overshadow the light of our being and those around us. If we embrace our anger like a caring parent (our love) tending to a crying child (our fear), then we have enormous potential to positively transform our self, our relationships, and our planet.
For more information or to discuss this article one-on-one, contact Julia George/Aquarian Age @ 561.750.9292