I was furious, I yelled at them and called them names. I threw a couple of objects onto the floor and left. It happens to me rarely, yet it did happen recently (mid-May 2021, such a memorable day!). I felt guilty, embarrassed, and I wished I could turn back the hands of time and choose a different response. It was like an emotional hangover, very unpleasant. I took a firm decision: it ain’t gonna happen again! Sounds familiar? Should we throw anger out of the window, ban it and declare it’s guilty of all social and political issues…? I don’t think so. Here are 5 myths about anger.
Myth #1: Anger is useless
Anger, as all emotions, has its place in our lives. Without anger, we wouldn’t be able to protect ourselves, set boundaries, challenge the status quo or fight for our rights. Anger is an energy and all energy can be transformed. We all can turn fury into a force for good:
“If you’re not angry, you’re either a stone, or you’re too sick to be angry. You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger, yes. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.”Maya Angelou
You have the right to be angry. Use it as fuel and create something new. Support the disadvantaged and the underdog, start a movement or make art, furiously. 😁
Myth #2: Anger is toxic
Anger is a natural physiological and emotional reaction to injustice or threat. Your body knows how to deal with it. So don’t stop it, hide it, or squeeze it. Instead, admit it, feel it, and communicate it, preferably in a more responsible way than I did 😁. Unexpressed or supressed anger is toxic. Pretending that nothing happened and keeping a smile on your face, when your blood is boiling, does not do you any service.
Myth #3: Anger is dangerous
As a kid, I saw adults fighting (verbally, I’m not talking about box ;). They screamed, cursed and hurt each other emotionally. Hence, I linked anger to danger. Maybe this is why it took me ages before I allowed myself to express it. I was afraid to cause harm. I’m still learning how to communicate frustration in an intelligent way and before it gets overwhelming. Anger can be clean and precise. It does not need to be loud, violent or abusive. Yes, getting anrgy in a right way is an Art!
Myth #4: Anger is the opposite of forgiveness
It seems absurd to get mad at the person we’re trying to forgive, yet, “there is no forgiveness without rage”, as says Holocaust survivor Dr. Edith Eger in her interview with Larry King. This incredible woman is a clinical psychologist and lecturer, and she speaks from experience. Other experts back her up. Anger is necessary to forgive:
“One reason why forgiveness can be so difficult is we often believe that in order to find peace through forgiveness, we need to reject our anger. However, the true key to embracing forgiveness and its many benefits actually lies not in rejecting our anger but rather in listening to and understanding our anger as a necessary and useful emotion.”Michael Friedman, Ph.D. (from an online article “Why We Must Listen to Our Anger to Achieve Forgiveness”)
Angry? Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but you’re on your way to peace. Don’t take shortcuts, feel it, allow it and let it heal you. Please. 💜
Myth #5: If you want to be spiritual, avoid anger at all costs
As an evolved being, you’ll only experience peace, you’ll be forever grateful, kind to all life forms and filled with love. This is rubbish. You’ll become more aware of your needs, wants, desires and emotions, including fear, sadness or anger. Please don’t transform yourself into a doormat so that people can walk all over you. Loosing yourself in order to please others is not spiritual. Letting others disrespect you isn’t either. As says Anand Mehrotra, author and yoga teacher, when we grow:
“Anger becomes fierceness, we don’t become placid. Some people have this very strange idea that enlightenment is hyper-politeness. This is idiotic”.
Clear, right?! I couldn’t agree more.
What if anger was both natural and necessary? What if it could be transformed into as a force for good? And you, what do you think of anger? How do you channel this powerful energy?
Leave a comment and share this article with all your (furious) friends. Thank you! 😁
Wishing you peace and sense of empowerment,
“I don’t know a perfect person. I only know flawed people who are still worth loving.”John Green