Anger is a human emotion. It ranks up there with fear as the most common emotion. Curiously, anger is often an unconscious expression of one’s need for contact. Strange, but true. How so?
The energy of love
Our innate essence consists of three subtle energies – love, intelligence and power. Anger arises when we experience a sense of lack or deficiency in any of these three energies. Here, we’ll consider the energy of love.
Anger is a form of aggression. Aggression is a movement toward another – a person, a group, an institution or organization, God, life, etc. However anger is never – ever – about the other as much as we prefer to blame others to justify or scapegoat our anger. Anger is always about “me” and how I’m experiencing, or feeling about “me” in this moment. While we often project our anger on to another, the antidote to anger is taking an honest, sincere and self-responsible look for what needs to be acknowledged in me – taking back my projection and looking inward. The projections we direct towards others are in essence about “me.” Understanding and learning the lessons of anger support our psycho/emotional and spiritual healing and development.
What do I need?
Anger is actually an expression of a “need unfulfilled.” So, when we’re mired in anger, the question to ask is, “What do I want or need?”
Anger is usually a conscious or unconscious reaction to our feeling some sense of lack or inadequacy (“not enough” in some way, shape or form). This sense of lack often relates to power, control, recognition, security, knowledge, or love. When we explore more deeply, and inquire within to discover what’s underneath our anger, anger becomes the doorway into the deeper issue that is bothering us. Anger itself is never the issue; it’s a symptom of something deeper.
The sense of loss
For many, this feeling of lack or deficiency accompanying anger has to do with a sense of real, potential or perceived loss – e.g., loss of a loved one, a job, a connection, health, wealth, privacy, “loss of face,” etc.
For many, anger is often a conscious or unconscious expression of loss of love (or relatedly, recognition, acknowledgement, approval). When we feel unloved, our anger is a calling outfor love. Our call for love, i.e., our anger, comes from our feeling rejected, betrayed, abandoned, unappreciated, or unseen. What we want and need is love.
Anger – the sense of disconnect
On a psycho/emotional and spiritual plane, anger is a form of disconnect – a disconnect from our true and real self – our essence. Our ego personality is disconnected from our soul, our Authentic Self. In addition, we may feel disconnected on a social level, a disconnection resulting from a lack of intimacy – i.e., it’s not about not having friends; it’s about the lack of a deeper, intimate soul connection with others – the reason many feel isolated, lonely or depressed even in the midst of an online social network or “real time” social network. (Do your “internet friends” really do it for you?)
Anger is a common reaction to heartbreak, rejection, even simple disagreements, by those whom we love or value.
Anger is an acting out, directed toward others, and often towards others who are not directly involved. Our anger is a sign we’re hurting (“hurt” people hurt people), and more, a sign we’re seeking healing. Anger tells us we are separate from what used to be our source of strength and love.
The love connection
Love, then, is a form of connection, first, to our true and self, then to others. Connection to our true self, our Authentic Self, is what nourishes, nurtures and feeds our sense of aliveness, worth, esteem and value. Love – connection – is what gives meaning to our life and supports us to feel we have something to contribute.
So, when we feel angry, it’s important to re-connect with our inner source of strength and love. Too, we also need to move through our angry feelings and reach out to others whom we can love. Anger will never – ever – get us love. Disconnection never attracts. Disconnection often leads to dysfunction.
The secret sauce of connection is love and caring. And connection is what supports us to feel genuinely and sincerely loved and empowered. Love transcends our personal limitations in the moment and connects us to our soul. When we express love, we’re able to move out of our emotional/reactive brain and rest in a heart-felt place of true caring and concern for our self and others.
Some questions for self-reflection:
- Do you live by the mantra, “I’d rather be right than happy?” What’s that like?
- How is anger manifested in your home or work environment?
- Does your home or work environment trigger your anger? How so?
- What emotional beliefs are underneath your anger?
- What person, place, or issue creates the greatest feelings of anger or resentment in you. What is it about that person or situation that triggers your anger? What is your emotional belief behind that anger? How do you try to justify your anger?
- How do you express your anger? What physiological sensations do you experience when you’re angry?
- How do you deal with your anger?
- When you become angry do you ever consider what you’re lacking or what you’re afraid of? If not, could you do that the next time you feel angry?
- When someone is angry with you, do you ever respond with love? Do you ever ask them what they’re needing or fearing? If not, could you do that the next time someone becomes angry with you?
- What was your (family’s) experience around anger like when you were growing up?
(c) 2020, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.
What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that ‘thing’ is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”
I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.
I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.