Sometimes, anger just gets the best of you. Sometimes, you find yourself reacting versus thinking, yelling versus being the calm in the storm, on the fringe of tears instead of calmly dealing with the issue. Sometimes that anger is over the top for the situation and for the object of the anger. Yes, anger is a natural emotion coming from a place of fear and nobody is immune from that emotion, even the calmest of the calm may feel this emotion. How it is expressed, how long it lasts and how quickly we move from anger to a place of compassion and action is dependent on us. It is very often dependent on the healing we have done, the work we have done to understand our reactions, to understand that anger will only fuel us so far.
Sometimes, that anger feels like rage and you might sit back and say to yourself, “why do I feel this much rage for this situation?” For me, I have found that it tends to happen for one of two reasons; the situation has made me question my worth, my ability to be loved, my place in someone’s life or I have no way to control the situation to fix it or change it, whether it be someone’s actions or my own that I feel out of control with.
The amount of healing and work that I have done does allow me to calm down quickly, to assess why I feel that way fairly quickly and to adjust my actions fairly quickly. It didn’t use to. Years ago, anger about a person or situation could ruin my entire day(or multiple days!). I would brood and continue to question myself, my worth, and vacillate between anger, denial, guilt, victimhood and frustration. I would sit in this dark gloomy place, alone, and allow that anger to seep into many areas of my life. Thinking I was hiding it when I wasn’t, when you could read my disgust as soon as I walked into a room.
I remember when I was in corporate America and I had a meeting with a person who was a bully. He did bully me during the meeting and made me believe that the entire leadership team that I thought I was building good relationships with were actually talking about me begin too aggressive for the new person on the team. He told me they were all lying to me when they told me to keep doing what I was doing. I was so angry when I left that meeting, at him, at the entire team, at myself. I questioned if anyone was even remotely honest with me, and I questioned my worth as a leader. I had to leave that meeting and head right into one with the entire team. I stayed quiet throughout most of the meeting. I barely looked at anyone, stabbing my salad with a fork as if it were alive. I was seething under my facade and swore nobody would notice. Of course, today I know that your energy is seen and felt whether you want it to be or not, but that day, I figured I was hiding my anger.
One member of the team was astute and noticing my energy. As I was leaving the meeting, he asked if he could meet with me before I left the building. I said yes, and left. When I returned to my office, I saw a text on my phone that said “breathe,” from this same person who was walking into my office behind me. He saw that I was upset and angry and wanted to try to diffuse it and help me.
That was the moment that I realized I couldn’t hide my energy the way I thought. That was also a moment for me to rectify what made me so very angry. It was certainly the fact that I thought people were lying to me, that I had no control and no way to fix it without letting them tell me what was not working, which of course led to me questioning my ability and self-worth. I found out through a lot of discussions that the only person lying to me was the bully, to make himself feel better.
In those days, the anger certainly stuck around for too long and really spiraled me to a dark place, with no self-love, and plenty of blame. I became a victim very quickly and placed blame on myself and others. My energy would take a long time to change to a higher frequency focused on love, compassion, opportunity and joy.
Although I seem to not allow that anger and frustration to seep into my life anywhere near as much as it once did, it still does from time to time. I can still experience that out of control thinking, the damning feeling of no self-worth, the questioning of myself and those around me. Although I feel it, I don’t let it control me any longer. I use every tool I have to calm myself, to focus on looking at the situation and the person from a place of compassion. How can I alleviate their suffering? How can I approach this from a place of compassion for me and others?
I have learned to surrender to the feeling for a moment so I can understand it without pushing those emotions on others. I have also learned that this is a process and I should only look for progress, not perfection. I will feel these emotions from time to time, my self-worth will be questioned from time to time, I will feel out of control from time to time. How long I stay there, that is totally up to me.
Sometimes, anger just gets the best of you. Then we regroup, and let the anger go, the fear go, and focus on the love.