Dealing with Anger

Written by Amie on December 3, 2008 – 2:18 am -

I thought I had dealt with a lot of the anger in my life. I can see now that I have only skimmed the surface. A big wave of anger hit, and caught me by surprise. I think it is here for a reason. I think I am ready to deal with it. I am thinking maybe I really never dealt with it. It was more of the yes, I am angry, but I am not ready to deal with the person or people that are involved. And, maybe I don’t always need to confront or even to talk to the person, I don’t know. This time feels different. This time I feel more aware of who I am and what I want my life to look like. I think I was afraid of my anger in the past. I was afraid to show it, that is for sure.

In my house growing up, my father was the only one really “allowed” to show anger. My mom would suffer in silence when she was angry, and I don’t really remember ever showing any anger myself. Of course, there were no other feelings expressed either, so I guess it is no surprise that anger wasn’t allowed.

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote a book called Anger. He is one of my favorite authors. Here is a quote that I try to keep in mind. “Anger is like a howling baby, suffering and crying. The baby needs his mother to embrace him. ¬†You are the mother for your baby, your anger. The moment you begin to practice breathing in and out, you have the energy of a mother, to cradle and embrace the baby.” And this, “Embrace your anger with a lot of tenderness. Your anger is not your enemy, your anger is your baby.”

I am learning to be with my anger, and to not feel bad about having it. I was always taught to blame other people for my anger. I do realize that I have a right to be angry, and I have a right to feel the way I do. The most important thing for me is to find a way to express it in a heathy way. So, this is what I am working on. How do I express my anger to a person that refuses to learn how to deal with their own anger. This anger has been around for years, without being expressed, only suppressed.

A part of my anger, a very large part, is that some people choose to never deal with their issues. It is hard work to learn to process our feelings, and to express them in a healthy way. Some people decide to go the route of distracting themselves away from what is really happening inside them. They are suffering as much as the people around them. I want to feel compassion for everybody, but it is getting more difficult to feel compassion for people that continue down the same path and refuse to help themselves heal. They continue with the same unhealthy behavior, being unhappy about the same things, but not wanting to take the next step of beginning to heal. Dealing with anger and all feelings takes practice.

My practice will be to embrace my anger, and to care for it like a baby. Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Just like our organs, our anger is part of us. When we are angry, we have to go back to ourselves and take good care of our anger. We cannot say, Go away anger, you have to go away. I don’t want you.”


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Posted in Depression, Healing & personal growth, Nurture yourself | 1 Comment »