Sunday, December 17, 2017

Rationalizing Anger and the Question that defuses it

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash
STRESS evokes anger when hope is lost in the moment. It is not usually one issue in isolation that turns us inside out in anger.
Most anger I suggest is a chaotic accumulation of issues, not one single issue that sends us over the edge into the abyss of ludicrousness. The issue that apparently breaches the cusp is the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back — the dromedary is already maximally burdened.
Angry outbursts must be about a profusion of issues conspiring against our peace.
We would be better to stop and ask the simple question, “What could this be?”
Is it that we are upset with our partner or our co-worker or our boss or our child or our mother or father? Or, is it that we’re frustrated because of the traffic, or being let down by others, or that we are tired, or disappointed that our favourite team lost? Could it be the weight of a conflict that can’t be reconciled, or perhaps there is a different weight we’re carrying, like a grief or a haunting disappointment? Maybe we are anxious or nervous for something ahead. Or, is it a combination of these? The latter is likelier, an amalgamation of concerns is bothering us.
The question is, could it be something else? Just the fact that that is a possibility makes the question pressing. Why would we upset someone else if we weren’t sure they were completely to blame? Yet, we upset others without even knowing what it is at core that is perplexing us. Could it be something else? Of course, it could be.
Simply to stop, to pause, and to think, “What could this be?” is empowering and protective. “What could be behind what I’m feeling here?” In these moments we realize the power of self-awareness.
It’s wise when anger rises to take a step back. The time we take to explore honestly and humbly what’s driving our anger is the time we can take to seize control of our emotions to protect ourselves and everyone else.

The most empowering thing we can do with our anger is to ask why. It always hides sadness or fear, fatigue or frustration. The soul seeks to be heard, and if we won’t pay attention to what our soul is saying, our soul will let everyone else know. And great harm can be done.

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