Ever felt engulfed in flames of anger because of some trivial little thing, say some inconsiderate person cut you off in traffic, or some other insignificant situation that just didn’t go as planned, but which nevertheless made you fly off the handle? Or perhaps you let yourself feel silky soothed by those blood-boiling reactions and let it all out, if you thought the event occasioning it was of such a magnitude, it would somehow end up forgiven and forgotten?
“It could also happen that the only person getting injured is yourself, while stewing in a self-made concoction of slow burning toxicity.”
Well, either way, this game of dancing with resentment is not a particularly advisable course of action, no matter the circumstances you may find yourself in. That’s because, usually, there’s always someone getting hurt. It might not be you, but then it’s the person that is unfortunately near enough to be caught in the residue of your repressed emotions. It could also happen that the only person getting injured is yourself, while stewing in a self-made concoction of slow burning toxicity. So, I think it’s fairly safe to say that allowing that ticking-time bomb of negative emotions to blow up all over the place is something you might not really want to let come about that often.
“One of the main causes that determines these outbursts of anger has a lot to do with not having come to terms with the idea that we can only control a limited amount of what happens to us.”
One of the main causes that determines these outbursts of anger has a lot to do with not having come to terms with the idea that we can only control a limited amount of what happens to us. Thus, what’s hiding behind all that anger are mostly feelings of fear, the fear of ‘losing control’. Mindfulness, however, sternly steps in to save the day. It is a brilliantly useful tool that can enable even the most furious of people to realize that all that accumulated fear, hiding beneath it all and which sometimes gets stirred up a bit too much is simply caused by the illusion of having lost that control somewhere along the line. Though it is the fairest of truths that we do not have control over whatever and whomever the universe might throw our way, the one person we do have control over and, quite frankly, the only one we should have that power over in the first place, is our very own self.
Not only that, but we actually have the entire creative control of the script of our trajectory, the lines that get to make or break scenes in our lives and the meanings we attribute to both the leading, as well as the supporting characters running around on our set. It’s quite a plate full, isn’t it? With this broad image in your mind, it does seem like anger can really be contextualized in a different way. Rather than let it become a weapon of self and ‘mass destruction’, use it as a reminder that you’ve probably misplaced your focus off recognizing and accepting your needs for far too long.
“Rather than let it become a weapon of self and ‘mass destruction’, use it as a reminder that you’ve probably misplaced your focus off recognizing and accepting your needs for far too long.”
Use anger to highlight those other emotions you leave repressed and unexpressed assertively at the right time, in a better place. In other words, don’t be scared of it, observe when and why it happens the way it does, and most importantly don’t let it take too much of your time. Address those emotions that are in need of fresh air and sunlight, by reacting as authentically as you can in the present moment, and gradually, that little stunt you inadvertently pull in order to get some sense of the feeling that you are the captain of your own ship will no longer be necessary, because guess what? You just temporarily misplaced that captain’s cap, matey.
Sources: Tolle, Eckhart (2009). The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. Novato, California: New World Library ,