You know what it like to be angry:
- Your partner didn’t take out the garbage when they said they would
- Your teenager lies to you
- Your body is sick and letting you down
- You weren’t able to sleep and now you feel terrible
- Someone cuts you off in traffic and you nearly crash
- The government is not behaving
- Corruption abounds
- Office politics
- Your loved one is sick or dies
- Etc etc etc
Anger is always a judgment that something is wrong, shouldn’t have happened, needs to be fixed. There are mild annoyances and seething resentments. There are little spits of anger and there is the anger that could seemingly blow up the earth. There is anger that passes through us and anger that seems to live as tension in our muscles and tendons and tumors.
Anger can lock us into the wheel of karma, the grind of cause-and-effect and tit-for-tat.
OR anger can be used as the fundamentally neutral energy it is, to motivate us to create change.
The energy of anger can either further entrap us, or it can free us and heal us. It heals by giving us the “get up and go” to take action. Anger can activate our will. I am grateful that I can be angry.
If we over-identify with anger and let it consume us, we get burnt. People and objects around us may also get hurt. I suggest that the healing of anger is NOT to respond to life’s events with equanimity and calm, but rather to witness our anger and see it as the hot, but emotionally neutral energy it can be.
How? By not over-identifying with it. To WITNESS yourself being angry and let yourself be ignited into action. To channel that energy into transforming your life for good, rather than being pummeled by harsh experiences.
How to do that??? Does it require enlightenment? Decades of therapy? A miracle? Forgiveness?
I suggest that to capture the energy and power of anger, we need to be Present with it when it arises. I can hear you scoffing, “how in the world can I be spiritually present when I’m pissed as hell????!!!!”
A simple powerful way to do this is to do a spinning meditation while you are angry. Imagine a spinning ball of light somewhere behind you while you are being angry. If you have the where-with-all to do this, you are no longer being a slave to anger, and you are automatically starting to witness your emotions. You are no longer completely identified with them, and yet you are allowing the energy of the upsetting event flow through you. You are using this energy to BE HERE NOW with your anger. This gives you perspective and choice. You will find yourself not being destructive with this powerful anger energy. You will be more able channel this energy into taking actions that start helping the situation. Powerfully helping!
In the attached video, I guide the Spirit Gate Cancer Support Facebook Group through a story where we make “anger soup” and metaphorically transform our anger into a strengthening elixir. Maybe it can help you do the same.