Is Anger bad?
I was brought up to think that it is. It is bad to experience anger, much less to express it. After all, good girls don’t get angry. Good girls are nice and well-behaved and everyone likes them. And so I learnt to suppress my own feelings of anger and to please others in exchange for a pat of approval.
It is only in the recent years of my adult life that I am learning to let go of the belief that anger is bad and, consequently, that I am bad if I experience or express anger. Through the study of psychology and hypnosis, I began to understand emotions better and to acknowledge when socially unacceptable feelings like anger arise. I began to learn the art of knowing when to let go of the anger and when to stand up for myself and speak my truth kindly, even if it means displeasing the other.
It’s liberating to be heard, by oneself, and to reclaim one’s own power.
Here’s sharing a poem I wrote to Anger in the aftermath of its visit recently, a visit which brought precious clarity on the issue at hand.
Anger, you are such a friend and a foe.
When you come, you come with a precious message.
A message so well hidden that if one doesn’t pay attention,
it sneaks away under the raging waters.
Like the blinking signals on a car dashboard,
trying to tell us that something in the car needs attention,
you are a flashing red bulb that points us to a source of our truth inside.
You arrive when an important value inside of us is being violated,
and you urge us to uncover what exactly that is.
You shine light on what is important to us,
and you help us identify what actions need to be taken to reconcile those values and reclaim our power.
You faithfully do so even when we reject you or judge you.
My dear friend, Anger, you are precious.
As much as you are precious, Anger,
you cannot stay for long.
Because you are the brother of Suffering,
and your shadow catches up after a while.
Your shadow digs itself into our souls and starts eating away at what is sweet.
What is eventually left is an empty bitterness.
Your shadow makes man dangerous.
No, Anger, you can’t stay.
After you have delivered your precious message,
your job is done and so you shall be on your way.
You are a seething cauldron through which the phoenix emerges.
To linger in means to be burnt,
to run from means to be pursued again.
The only way out is through.
I love you when you come,
and I love you too when you go.
Dear friends, may you find your guidance and your truth through your emotions, even the undesirable ones.
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