Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Removing the Mask of Anger

You’re driving down the street and someone cuts you off. You feel your blood boil and you hear some expletive coming from your mouth.

Your husband or wife says something to you and suddenly you feel irritated and want to snap back at them.

Your kids are out of control and you start yelling at them trying to regain some sense of order.

You’re at work and your boss starts yelling at you for some mistake you’ve made or bit of work you didn’t complete and you want to tell him off.

These are all examples of when anger can take over a situation. It can be very toxic to us if we suppress it and toxic to others if we project it. No one wants to be the recipient of someone else’s anger.

So what is anger all about? The dictionary defines anger as a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong, wrath, ire”. And this may be true but looking back to the 12th century, the roots of the word is connected to the old Norse word angr meaning sorrow, grief, the Old High German word angust meaning far and even the Latin word angor which means anguish.

Having read this, it made great sense as anger is merely a mask for something deeper that we are feeling, for instance fear, guilt, sadness or shame.

Behind each expression or feeling of anger, there is something more and if we can use the rising anger to show us the way, we can tune in to the emotions that are feeding it.

We often use anger as a way to show our strength, but it really is a weakness. It’s the mask we hide behind when we are feeling fearful and can’t face a situation from a truthful and perhaps vulnerable place.

It’s funny and may seem almost backward but when we let our guard down and speak to others from a more vulnerable place, situations can be resolved in a loving peaceful way. Imagine that!

The next time you feel anger starting to erupt from inside, take a breath, look at what is really behind it. What are you afraid of? What are you trying to hide from others, or from yourself?

Remove the mask of anger and empower yourself to live in truth. You’ll be surprised at how much better it works for you!

With love and kindness

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1 comment:

  1. So true Bettina, I know the times in my life when I have been the angriest have been when I have the most `stuff`buried.

    Have a wonderful week.


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