Freedom Blog

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How Do You Deal With Anger?

No Limits | The Freedom Blog

How Do You Deal With Anger?

Written by Steven Griggs |

In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves."                                              Buddha
“Anger is a wind which blows out the lamp of the mind.”                                 Robert Green Ingersoll

What is anger? Most will say anger is caused by someone or something that offends us or intimidates us or encroaches on us in some way.  It is always caused by something outside us, something “out there”.
But is that true?
Nothing “out there” causes anything. It is all internal. Everything that is happening "out there" is being reacted to “in here”. It’s an interpretation or an opinion.
So what is anger, really?
All anger comes from loss. This could be either an actual loss or just the fear of losing. It may not even be close to happening yet but the ego mind will swing into action at the mere hint of loss.
A feeling of loss could also be caused by the end of a rhythm, e.g., the end of a friendship or relationship,  the end of a job, end of a marriage, anything that the ego mind is used to or dependent upon.
It could also be anything that contradicts the ego’s agenda.
It is the ego mind that gets vengeful. It wants to get even or “pay them back” or “teach them a lesson”.
I recently had a situation with a service provider that I use for various online activities. It was a business relationship and a friendship. We had a disagreement about how my account was being handled. We just couldn't agree. I felt I was right, she felt she was right.
The result was we didn't talk for several months.
But I missed working with her.
Then one day while driving, I was thinking about what a great team we made and how much she had helped me. Suddenly I realized that I was seeing this all wrong!
I had become mired in pettiness and anger. I realized that I had allowed myself to be dominated by my ego (It’s a never ending struggle….).
I saw how all this was such a waste of time and energy.
I didn't tell myself to forgive her or tell myself to suck it up and admit I was wrong.
There was none of that. No right or wrong.
I just started thinking that I've got to get a hold of her and make this right so we can get back to work!
I immediately got in touch with her and ended our disagreement. Now we are both excited and looking forward to working together again.
So what happened?
I decided to change my opinion of the situation.
Instead of rehashing what happened and continually feeding the anger, I asked myself: “What did I really want?”
I realized I wanted things to go back to the way they were.
Then instantly, my negative feelings evaporated!
It was really strange. I couldn't find any anger anymore. There was nothing to be angry about! I just couldn't feel it.  The anger had been replaced with excitement!
All I saw was the future and getting back to creating some cool projects.
You may say great, good for you but what do you do if you can’t see anything good?
What if you are just mad and stuck in anger?
What then?
1st step: Acceptance.
You have to accept what is. You have to accept what has happened in order to be able to put it behind you. Because you can’t really force the anger to go away, you have to change your opinion of the situation.
But what if you aren't so clear about getting rid of anger? Maybe you like being angry right now? Maybe it feels kind of good…..kind of victimy…… ? If so then wait, you probably aren't ready just yet.
But if you are clear about what you want, you say O.K. this happened. Big deal. What does it really mean? It means nothing. It is just a tiny blip, not even a one sentence entry in your book of life. Get over it quick.
2nd step: Decide.
Decide what you really want. Decide that you are done with the anger and pain. That can be done through forgiveness or acceptance but either way it requires you to put aside your ego personality and accept that things happen. Things change. They end. Everything has a time and purpose and then things change again.
You don’t need forgiveness from the other person, although if you have seriously wronged them it could be helpful to make amends. But sometimes that may not be possible.
So better yet, forgive yourself. Tell yourself, “Yes, I could have handled that in a better way and next time I will do better”. Or “Yes, he or she could have handled this differently but they didn't”. And you just accept it. What it is, is what it is.
3rd step: Take the next step.
Make a move towards the new situation, the next step. Step away from the ego’s self- righteousness. Throw off the heaviness and the destructive feelings that come from anger. Move towards lightness. No snags, just flowing and moving through life.
4th step: Remember who you are. (Always)
You have to keep your eye on your bigger picture. You have to remind yourself of who you really are. You are here to grow and help other people. You don’t have time for anger. Forget about it. When it happens realize it for what it really is, think it through, then release it and keep moving.
Don’t try to “manage” anger. Anger management is a scary idea. Who wants to have so much anger that they have to “manage” it?