“Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath.” Eckhart Tolle
Most of my work is about emotions, in some form or other, that are causing us to feel discord in our body. Liza Palmer wrote another quote with similar sentiments that I have on my website homepage. “Angry is just sad’s body guard.” Whatever way it is put, the stronger emotions are usually stepping up to protect us in some way, perhaps trying to tell us something about not only what is going on right now, but where we may have experienced a similar situation in our life before, and this has created a pattern of how we react each time. Some people will say they don’t experience anger, but if they are really able to look at some of the things in their life that are upsetting, they may find they have learnt to swallow, or push down that reaction because society tells us that it is inappropriate to show anger.
Sometimes the anger is covering up for a fear that we feel, fear that we’re going to be cheated, that we’re going to fail, that we are not going to have the love we all need in our lives. If something wasn’t provided for us as children, we may fear our adult relationships are going to treat us the same way. So when a precious relationship looks like faltering, we immediately fear the loss we had as a child. As a child we may feel overwhelming powerlessness, helplessness or hopelessness at the hands of an adult and those feelings can stay stuck in our nervous system. The list is endless. Once we understand what is behind the anger we can learn how to deal with it by addressing those long held beliefs and fears.
Because the anger can be about these unmet needs, we could ask, “What is my anger telling me that I need?” Or we could ask, “Why am I angry? How can I deal with this differently, how can I respond differently?” Having that understanding can help us deal better with a behaviour that society condemns. We can then add shame and blame into the cauldron of negative emotions. This is not helpful, it does not take account of the fact that we are all human with emotions from both ends of the spectrum, with a history of experiences that have been less than empowering, but if we want to move forward we need to learn how to deal with them now as an adult, start taking responsibility to change our old patterns.
Enjoy loving the anger for what it is doing for you!