Ask Parvati 16: Anger As An Ally, Part 4: Anger, What A Pain!
ANGER, WHAT A PAIN!
(Continued from The Irony Of Anger)
I have a particular soft spot for the short little green guy, the master Jedi knight known as Yoda. (Ok, now you know I am a big time Star Wars and sci-fi fan.) The enlightened teacher skillfully sums up the role anger plays in our demise. He says, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
If we are to learn to meet anger as an ally, we must learn to touch its gems by undoing the painful grip of anger. Anger hurts us when we feel it. Withheld anger causes headaches, ulcers and cancers. Unbridled anger puts ourselves, others and those we love in harm’s way. We have only one healthy option when we feel anger: understand that it is caused by not seeing reality clearly, and committing to seeing a bigger, more accurate picture of what is. In so doing we let go of its seductive grip and we learn to embody the courage of love through compassionate understanding.
I love the Longfellow quote: “If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”
As we learn to undo the pain of anger, we see that when we are angry, we are in judgment, we are blaming, and we are afraid. When we unravel the judgment we feel of others, we learn to see their frailties, their need for love and their ignorance with understanding, love and acceptance. We can do this because we know that all of those painful emotions are also emotions we too can feel.
Feeling anger is a natural, human thing. It is a teacher, showing us the power of the mind’s projections and the innate power of consciousness. We have the ability to either destroy or create. The choice is ours.
Just as we learn that our tendency to become angry is born out of a judgmental, divisive mind, we learn to not be angry or judgmental of ourselves for being angry. We need to be kind to ourselves when we feel the heat of anger rise. We need to learn healthy ways to self-soothe and remain rooted in the reality that all is perfect in this moment, that we are love, that we are loved. In that safety, we can find the courage to relax, look deeper within and get to the source of what we are really feeling. When we express our true heart, everybody wins.
(Continues tomorrow: Anger Is Natural, But Never Justified)