If allowed to, anger will overwhelm completely.
Anger is more blinding even than infatuation. When anger takes root, it breeds on itself, growing into bitterness and hatred.
Angry people live in a hateful world, one that is out to get them. To an angry person, God is wrathful and separate from us. So too are other people disconnected and isolated. Every man out for himself. Dog eat dog. No one helped me, why should I help anyone else?
Anger is a lonely business. Anger pushes people away. Anger is a rejection of God and all the blessings the Universe has to offer. When we choose to be angry, we are saying, “I am better off without the rest of the world.” The ego cuts off from the rest of the Self. Angry people are not whole people.
Anger is like a virus, infecting our vision and spreading to everything we contact. Anger can become a whole life, an all-encompassing outlook. It can define, and has, an entire race of people if left untreated.
So how to treat anger?
The thing is, anger cannot be cured, because anger is not the disease. Anger is the symptom of a truer emotion, and treating the symptom only prolongs the illness.
When we look behind anger, we discover heartbreak.
We each have our own individual heartbrokenness that we carry with us throughout life. Colloquially speaking, “Everyone’s got their shit.” Baggage, we call it.
It is true that heartbreak is universal. Everybody experiences it. It is commonplace.
In some ways, treating heartbreak as such is beneficial. We can be flippant about it precisely because we all go through it. We shouldn’t dwell on our pain, lest we prevent ourselves from enjoying all life has to offer. Individually and collectively, we need to be functional members of the human race.
At the same time, dismissal often leads to suppression. That’s how heartbreak transforms into anger.
It’s not that we aren’t meant to be angry sometimes. Anger in and of itself is not bad; it is an emotion, a response, a natural human experience–one we need to understand better.
We commit evil out of anger. We cause pain and destruction. We are participants in a karmic cycle, all guilty of doing to others exactly what was done to hurt us.
That’s a hard pill to swallow. Most of the time, angry people don’t want to take responsibility for their anger or their actions. Some people are so deeply entrenched in their anger that they don’t even see it anymore. If approached and asked, “Why are you angry,” they may respond, “I’m not angry! I’m a realist/I’m telling it like it is/It’s not me, it’s them!”
The problem is that this begins at such a young age, before we even learn responsibility. Our hearts are first broken when we are children, and we don’t know how to handle it. Our parents are of little help if they never dealt with their heartbreak either. So we grow up heartbroken people just doing our best.
But we can do better.
We can heal.
We are meant to be whole. Body, heart, mind, and soul.
Anger is our symptom, heartbreak is our disease, and forgiveness is our medicine.
Tomorrow’s Post: The Way of Forgiveness