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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Anger is a secondary emotion, a sign that there is hurt and pain underneath the anger that needs to be addressed. It can't simply be pushed aside or denied.

In a mad dash to react away from the perils of anger, we went too far and lost a key piece of the emotional integrity and expression cycle. 
This is particularly true in the spiritual community, where peacefulness has been characterized as a symbol of awakening, even if it is inauthentic and a bypass of the unresolved anger still brewing below the surface.
It’s important to remember that anger is a legitimate emotion that signals that a person has been violated. 
It is also a necessary emotion if we are going to do the work of sacred activism and challenge existing paradigms that cause suffering. 

‘The calmness bypass’.
Calmness alone will not make the world a better place at this stage. 

By discouraging and shaming anger, we actually disrupt natural emotional rhythms and encourage inauthentic ways of being. 
In addition, repressing the emotions simply keeps the anger alive. 

The negativity goes underground, manifesting in a myriad of destructive forms, including passive aggressiveness, self-destructive behavior and all manner of disease. 

It is one thing to discourage the inappropriate expression of anger, but let us not throw the whole process out with the bath water. 

The pendulum swing needs to be centered and anger can serve as an indicator of what needs to change in both our inner and outer worlds. 
There is a place for healthy anger in an evolving world. 

I love what Aristotle says about this, Anger, anyone can be angry but to be angry with the right person, at the right time, to the right extent, with the right aim, that is not easy (paraphrased). Allows for anger but anger that is filtered through practical wisdom.

It can be so helpful to express our unsaid words, anger and grief to those who have hurt us. There is no good reason to carry someone else's baggage up the mountain. It weighs us down on a journey that is already challenging enough. 

Better to shed it so that we can move into life with greater freedom. At the same time, we have be sure not to make our healing dependent on how others receive our expression. 
Many of those we share with will be too unconscious, stubborn or defensive to take in our experience, even if we express it in the gentlest of ways. 

It may be too shocking to their ways of organizing reality. It may be too painful to face. Not everyone is ready or able to do the deep work that self-reflection demands. 

This is not to say that we hold back- we must express our truth one way or the other- but it is to say that we are best served by sharing it without expectation. 

The liberation lies in the expression itself.


note to AOH