Understanding why you are angry__with someone or something__is the most important step to be able to deal with it. Getting to the source of your anger is the only way for you to manage your emotional health better.
In today’s world, where personal time is at a premium, patience is scarce. Intolerance to people and situations drives each of us crazy. And more often than not, those who lose it, who succumb to anger, feel angrier at their inability to have held themselves in check.
I met a parent the other day who confessed that she was just not able to control herself when getting her playful 12-year-old son ready for school every morning. “Every day, I promise myself that I am not going to explode. But when I find him wasting his time on the computer or in the shower or reading up cricket scores in the paper, I simply lose it. I end up screaming, bringing the house down. Then after I have finally sent him off to school, I am consumed by guilt. Couldn’t I have handled him more maturely? After all, he’s my son. What do I do?,” she wondered. In another episode that I read in the papers this past week, a young man, in a fit of rage, hit a drunk laborer, who came in the way of his motorbike on the road, on the head with his helmet. The laborer collapsed and had to be taken to hospital where he died two days later. The motorist is now charged with murder. Both these episodes are manifestations of anger __ erupting from the stresses of everyday living.
I have had my fair share of explosive behavior in the past, and my own reflections, guilt and repentance have led me to discover that the best way to deal with anger is to go to its source, within you. The important point to be noted here youget angry only when things don’t happen the way you have wanted or expected them to happen. Whether it is your child driving you nuts with his childishness or whether a drunk is adding to your challenges because of his drunkenness or whether a boss is giving you a hard time because of her unreasonableness, anger rises in you. Not because the other caused it but because you allowed it to rise. Your anger is your own creation. And often times, in the name of being human, we express it on to the other person. Or, in the name of learning to control anger, we suppress it. But when you suppress anger you are not helping yourself either. Because while you may not be expressing it, even the very thought of the person against whom the anger is directed, will make you angry. You anger is still simmering inside you. And that’s not great news for your emotional health. Because today you will not express it. Maybe you will not express it for a week or month or year. But sooner than later the energy that’s boiling over within will find an avenue __ and will lead to an explosion, often against someone who is momentarily placed in an emotionally weaker state than you. So, while you may have been angry with the boss, you will take it out on your spouse. Or the other way round! Clearly, neither expressing your anger not suppressing it is going to help.
So, what’s the way out?
There’s only one way: go to the source of your anger. Understand and realize that the source of your anger is within you. Know that unless you allow anger to erupt, you cannot be angry. And the way to disallow anger to rise within you, is to accept that you control nothing – and no one! Not your child, not your neighbour, not your boss, not even your Life! Don’t focus on your anger. Focus on understanding Life. Don’t focus on who’s doing what to you. Focus on accepting what has been done. Don’t sit in judgment. Don’t ask why or why me? Instead be anchored with your inner core and say that whatever is happening, is happening. You have to only accept it. And if you must avoid it from happening again, the only way to achieve it is to approach it with calm and not angrily!
A deeper perspective to hold is to understand that at our core, there’s nothing but energy. This is the same energy that is keeping us alive. This is the same energy that expresses itself as love, caring and compassion. This is the same energy that appears as anger, as hatred, as vengeance. The way to appreciate this energy is to remember that just before an angry moment happens in your Life, the energy is there. It is within you as long as you have been alive. Then why is it that you were not angry one moment and you are angry in another? Because you let that energy run amuck. You let it go berserk. If you can use your awareness and understanding to keep that energy from going haywire, you can conserve it. And deploy it in a far more meaningful, constructive manner to meet the same objectives that you would have otherwise directed your anger towards!