Anger prevents clear reception.
Please discuss How does this play out in life?
I’ll start us out. It seems, regardless of which side of the political divide you’re on, that 20 20 has provided us with plenty of reasons to be outraged. Friends and family with differing opinions may try to negate what we think and feel, further upsetting us. We don’t like what’s going on, we don’t like being denigrated for our opinions, and we can’t understand how others could possibly hold views contrary to our own. A multi-layered aura of anger is generated that pervades our days.
Anger unfortunately begets more anger. It’s an intense emotion which comes in a variety of flavors—rage, disappointment, sarcasm, resentment, and more. These variations on a theme all boil down to us being upset about what is, or at least at the way we perceive things to be. Current situations may seems to have a common element with enraging past events, triggering current ire on top of past hostility. We get mad in both senses of the word—angry and insane, in that our reactions don’t necessarily relate to or are out of proportion to the situation at hand.
The overwhelm of anger blocks us from seeing the here and now as it actually is. We become blinded to many alternatives and ineffective at handling what is. Our rage is also self protecting. When challenged on our irate behavior, we will often respond with indignance, our anger both justifying and magnifying itself. The emotional cycle is circular and self perpetuating.
Today’s message reminds me of the distortion of perception anger causes, whether it is my anger or another’s. In either case, actual understanding will not be reached until the anger dissipates. If I’m the one who’s mad, noting my anger and choosing to de-escalate will help me see things more clearly. If another is irate, I can support their efforts to become calm. Either way, once in more neutral emotional turf, the pertinent question to be answered is “What am I so afraid of?” Anger often feels more empowering than fear and will cover or provide armor against what is feared. When I or another can get to the trepidation underneath the ire, true resolution of the issue is possible.
How about you? How do you relate to anger?