Maybe you get angry when your partner doesn’t meet your expectations, maybe it’s when the washing machine overflows, or maybe it’s when you get mad at yourself for what you consider a mistake.
When a desire with attachment is thwarted or denied, it turns to anger. Anger arises from dissatisfaction, from not getting what you want or getting what you don’t want – from the expectation unfulfilled.
You become more and more attached to your expected outcome and when it doesn’t arrive you get angry. You seek wholeness, completion, and happiness in the fulfillment of desire with attachment and are constantly in dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction and anger arise from feeling limited, betrayed, from not speaking up, from being pushed around, by not being seen or heard, by being passive and feeling futility. It starts as resentment. Resentment turns into frustration. Frustration turns into anger and becomes rage when not addressed.
Anger can take on many faces – some you see as anger, as getting mad, and some are more subtle. You think; That person rubs me the wrong way, You roll your eyes, make a sharp remark, you think he’s a thorn in my side, you have a tantrum, feel bitterness, suspicion, hatred, envy, resentment, criticism, annoyance, animosity, sullenness, gruffness, rage, grudges, and you have arguments.
However much you think we are provoked, your anger is always your own creation.
Anger holds great energy. Desire, anger and expectation can be a source of energy, strength and motivation. But what is your honest motivation? From what source is this energy arising and in what form is it expressing itself? This energy can hold personal glory, personal gain, judgment, a tangle of pure and impure impulses, a commotion of motives and reactions. Anger’s motivation is generally dissonant and confused. Anger destroys discrimination. It can catch you and you can get lost in it.
Anger and rage, when positively channeled can create great change. This energy can become perverted when filled with judgment. It can be a powerful energy of dissatisfaction. When suppressed or resisted or expressed in negative ways, it can be extremely damaging. Dharma – that which upholds your evolution – should be your motivation, your strength, and the source of creative energy.
How to Deal with Anger
When you get angry you have 3 choices; 1) let it out, 2) suppress it or 3) mindfully and compassionately address it.
If you let it out, it adds to the dissonance of the world. It creates negative consequences.
If you suppress it, it’ll become dense and fester. You get a stomach ache.
Create mindfulness, a space that brings discrimination. Be compassionate with yourself.
Stop- don’t act or react. The sooner you can be conscious of anger’s point of arising, of recognizing this type of energy inside yourself, the easier it is to watch it and allow it to wash through you without reacting. First- Catch yourself in the experience. Train yourself to notice initial arising. Recognize it with neutrality.
Look- Gain Insight. Watch it. Be neutral and allow the energy to move through you. Witness it and don’t get lost in it. This way this energy does not get stuck. No one is harmed, including you. The more you see anger, experience it as an energy, and gain insight into its initial arising, the more you can stop letting it out or suppressing it, which both create suffering. Be honest. You are creating your anger, not someone outside you. Develop the awareness that you are not the victim of what’s happening. You are being presented with an opportunity to free yourself from your normal state of angry reactivity. Look at what triggers you. Looking expands understanding.
Feel- Remember it is only being created within you by you, never outside. When you become available to recognize, feel and accept it, it will come more into balance. Anger is an active, energetic emotion. Feel its energy. Move your body, breathe deeply, journal about it. Witness it and feel it but do not let it out onto others or into situations. Allow the inner eruption to happen within so you can look at it and feel it and let the energy pass through. If you can do this you will be left with strength and empowerment without negative consequences.
Accept without judgment- By feeling it and allowing it to move through you, you are not accumulating it or creating negativity. Watching it and feeling it and allowing it to pass through is freedom. When you resist something, that resistance creates suffering. Resistance empowers that which is resisted. Resistance holds energy in place and stops its flow. By witnessing the anger instead of becoming the anger, you create the circumstances for the energy of anger to move, to flow through you. If necessary, express it creatively, not onto someone. Acceptance doesn’t mean it’s good or bad. It is “what is” in this moment. In acceptance and non-judgment you can move your awareness from being the anger to watching the anger and hold compassion for yourself and others.
The awareness that is created through this process of stopping, looking, feeling, and accepting helps dissipate the anger and moves it out of your system. You neither suppress the energy nor let it out onto someone or something. You simply witness the process and allow the energy to pass through with awareness.