Thursday, September 15, 2005

Creative Anger

Creative Anger

"Beaneath every experience of anger is a huge body of emotional experience"

- The Heart of the Soul by Gary Zukav & Linda Francis
When we are consumed by anger we often act without regard for the consequences of our actions. How does one control one's anger? No, the question should be: How does one prevent anger from arising in first place?

No wave can surge above the surface of the sea without a concentrated movement of water beneath it. Anger is merely the tip of the emotional iceberg, exposing deep layers of fear and pain. The angry man may sometimes appear to be extremely brave and bold but the fact is, he is acting from an underlying weakness. An angry man can be defeated easily because he is often too blind to see his own weaknesses.

Anger can be a seductive thing because it gives us a momentary surge of fearlessness--the effect is almost like a drug. And it can be very addictive. We feel righteous and strong. But the feeling passes away very quickly, and one recovers from the experience full of regret and shame.

We see injustice around us all the time. Injustice can give rise to anger. However reacting to injustice out of anger is not the wisest thing to do. Of course, it is our duty to fight injustice, but certainly not at the expense of anger. Being human, anger will often arise within us spontaneously. Just let it rise and subside but do not feed on it. Feel its wave-like motion--rising, peaking, falling. And then when it is gone, analyze why it arose in first place.

Why does the situation provoke such anger in you? What fear does it stir inside you? Understand that fear. And then act with the full knowledge of that fear, without judgement or malice. That's how we learn from anger.

All of us like to think of ourselves as gentle creatures, incapable of drastic acts of violence. We'll never commit the kind of violent acts that we often associate with other lesser human beings. Think again. If you are capable of anger, you are definitely capable of violence. Every spark of fire has the potential to turn into a raging inferno under the right conditions. Similarly, under the right set of circumstances, our anger can also ignite into violence. Anger and violence reside in the same continuum--they are just opposite ends of the spectrum.

An angry man has a lot of energy. But unfortunately he is not using his energy in the most efficient manner. So often, this energy is used to destroy. If one is capable of so much anger, one is definitely capable of harnessing the same energy to create. Anger can be transformed into a beautiful act of creation.

When anger arises next time, ask yourself: Why am I reacting this way? What fear does it stir inside me? Why do I have this fear in first place? How can I overcome this fear? Can I use this anger that has arisen in a creative manner?

Harness this surge of energy called anger. Act creatively.

No comments: