Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Acknowledging Anger.....from a meditative perspective....

Are you an angry person? Do you allow anger to over rule your emotions and take you down into the depths of despair when things don't go the way you want them to? When anger creeps up on you, do you re-act by expressing your feelings loudly or do you seethe and boil like one of those pressure cookers on the go, ready to erupt at any given moment when someone or something tips the balance? One too many bubbles erupt and there goes the lid.

No? Maybe you are the opposite, maybe anger does not even come into the equation for you at all. Is that possible do you think?

Today I would like to share a little of my journey with you regarding anger and what I personally learned through meditation and facing this little emotion head on. I am not going to say it was fun. Interesting? Extremely! Emotional? A bit like that reference to the pressure cooker up there. My lid did fly off my friends but really that was not such a bad thing.

So here is how it happened.....

Background noise: (Meeting the inner selves, Father, Mother and Child: Turns out the inner mother in me pretty much over-ruled the other two, to the extent that the father did not really exist...but thats a story for another day).

We find ourselves in meditation being forced to confront and acknowledge the benefits of feeling anger. This came about as someone in the group was really angry at men in particular and laying the blame on them for the woes of society in a certain country, strangely enough it was in fact a man). The purpose of the meditation was in fact to confront the feelings of anger, and learn how to accept our feelings and learn from it). What went on in my head however, was a little bit different.

Why? Well, imagine there are two of me standing there. One extremely feminine, calm and composed, smiling and happy, completely centred and sure of herself. The other one, the male version is trying to convince her that being angry is ok. In fact it is necessary to sometimes feel angry for us to be complete.  (going to have to go with the he and she when in fact we are really talking about me LOL)

She: "Anger is not conducive to our being". (Can't remember the whole monologue but she basically suggested that getting angry was a complete waste of time. It just upsets ourselves and others to boot. Why even bother with it?)

He insisted over and over that we need to feel and express anger. If we did not we would not be able to appreciate happiness or right wrongs etc etc. Feeling angry is normal, just like feeling happy or sad!

It went on in such a fashion to the point that I was unsure if this meditation had made any difference to me at all. We of course did some work around this and then all went home to our own lives where over the next few weeks I was quite amazed at the difference in my moods.

You see, suddenly, I started to feel angry about things where previously I may have just felt a little sad. OMG I am feeling really pissed off with you right now. Where did that come from? It was a bit like being burned really. That initial pain, followed by a bit of shock, then that moment where you think, how will I deal with this? And you take action either way very quickly.

Am I going to keep the lid on or let it out? Well, I decided to do a bit of both. Each time it happened, (and it happened quite a lot for a week or so) I went within myself and first acknowledged my feeling. OK, I'm annoyed, in fact I do feel angry. Why? What is the purpose of this feeling? Am I angry because of me or because of you? Hmmmmm

I accept that I am angry, its OK to feel angry and now I am going to re-act to this accordingly. I often found myself laughing at the whole process as I was doing it all backwards. While others were dealing with their anger issues and how to re-act, here I was learning how to feel that anger and accept it first and then go back to the reaction bit. As opposed to feeling sad which I suddenly learned I was using as a substitute.

And really my friends, this was no laughing matter. It was serious business. I think what I learned from it all was that yes, anger is an important emotion and its is ok to feel angry when someone pokes you where you do not want to be poked.  I learned to express this by telling those who made me angry. Hey, I am not cool with this. I feel angry! GRRRRR! And at first I think they were a little shocked. Well, some were rather amused. LOL. I learned that while I am not really an angry person, that sometimes I should feeling angry lest I get bogged down in sadness or disappointment in others.

Because over the past few years there have been situations where I should have been angry and I simply felt sad and/or disappointed. And we all know that sad can become a heavy burden to carry indeed.

And funnily enough several months later I found myself in class and we were doing a group exercise where we had various words and we had to place them on a scale as to what is less good for us and most good (closer to divine).  I found myself arguing (yes me) with my class mates as to where on the scale ANGER should sit. They all wanted to place it right down the bottom. I on the other hand wanted it up higher. In fact a little higher than halfway would seem about right to me. Of course they did not agree with me. They were right where I was previously. Anger is not nice! NO NO NO. In the end they met me half way. And lo and behold they were shocked when my choice was the right one. It was one of those times where you don't really want to be right but you know you are.


While I do not personally have much need for Anger, I certainly acknowledge it and intend to allow it to emerge when be. I also acknowledge that I don't like the feeling therefore I was refusing to allow it to be a part of me.

I have been learning to speak up where before I may have kept silent. This has been a big step for me.


I am learning!


Love and Light to you my friends, may your lives be filled with Peace, Joy, Love & Happiness

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti














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