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Monday, November 18, 2013

When Fear or Sadness Turns to Anger


WE LIVE in a cause-and-effect world. Things that happen have what Isaac Newton called an equal and opposite reaction. Emotional processes are certainly not exempt. Whatever happens to us has an effect. We can neither deny it nor can we make more of it than we’d wish.
It is what it is – our emotional process.
What goes inward must, of a sense, be processed, where meaning is made; where meaning rummages around in the vessel, sometimes coming out in unexpected ways.
There are times when we can’t possibly predict how we will feel as a result of something that has happened. We can always explain it better from the aspect of hindsight, but hindsight is not a gift we get in advance.
So, we are left with our emotions – those that result for our perception of justice.
Justice, of course, is clearly another matter. But we can be sure that our justice is faltering in contrast to true justice: reality. Pride – the ego – tends to twist our realities in favour of us and those we are kin with. So, our emotions can be ransomed. The closer our relationship with God – that sense of vertical self – the better is our awareness and our ability to receive the truth humbly.
When Anger is an Indication of Relief Needed
We should judge our anger much less than we do, in my opinion. We are too harsh on ourselves, and, as a result, we get despondent and then we are more likely to get angry – it’s a vicious cycle.
When we have a bearing or a gauge for our anger – when we feel the heat rising – we then stand on a precipice. If we act to deal with ‘us’ by enquiring “What is going on here,” we may then simply take a short time out to reflect, which is safety. That’s all our higher minds need in bringing some sense of integrity to our thinking – to take the pressure off.
When we are especially sad or fearful we are more prone to anger. It’s the process of transference at work. What builds up must find expression, and safe expression is unlikely to be found in the actual direction of our sadness or fear, unless we are aware and okay to travel truthfully in its direction – ah, that’s in the direction of healing!
This is why we take our anger out on those we love; they won’t reject us, or at least they will take more of our garbage than some would. But the better way is to recognise why the anger presents in the first place. It’s not about them, but it’s about our own lack. That acknowledged – that it’s our own lack and not really about them at all – we can call our presenting emotions for what they are. There is no need to spew our anger over others in ugly transference.
***
Anger is the indication of relief that’s needed. We are more prone to anger when we are sad or fearful. Simply knowing that anger is caused by sorrow or fear helps. It helps us control our emotions so others won’t be damaged; so that we have options like reflecting instead of ranting.
Our best ally regarding anger is self-understanding – an understanding that God can pour into us by his Holy Spirit.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

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