Anger is a fascinating emotion. It can be the catapult from negativity into integrity and courage, yet when it is held on to and emphasized, becomes the very thing that prohibits you from moving to a higher state of awareness.
I was thinking this morning about a simile, (and I do <3 similes). To complete a project, such as building a bookshelf, you will need a hammer. Now if you take that hammer and use it to knock some nails in, but you never put the hammer back down because the hammer helped you build the bookshelf… holding that hammer in your hand for the rest of the day would be ridiculous. Furthermore, holding that hammer for the rest of your life would be insane. It would make everything you do from there on out extremely difficult, (try tying a shoe with a hammer in one hand).
Anger is like a hammer. (There's the simile!). Anger can help get a job done, but continuing to hold on to it after it’s initial purpose has gone will make everything in your life more difficult (such as your career, relationships, achieving an overall feeling of wellness, etc.) You can’t hold anger in one hand and think you’ll achieve greatness or fulfillment with the other.
The reason people get so stuck on anger is that it is generally (always?) part of the path to true freedom. Anger is closer to courage than guilt, shame, apathy, fear and grief. It has more energy. It feels comparatively better than the lower levels. Anger has enough “umph” to it to get you off the couch and take action in one way or another. It is possible to focus that agitated energy towards the leap of taking responsibility for yourself and your actions and releasing blame towards outside circumstances and things outside of your control, if you have the wherewithal to know it is an option to channel your anger positively and have the courage to try.
I encourage you to consider how you truly feel when you’re angry. Is it comfortable? Do you want to live that way? Does it enhance your life? Do you really feel it is necessary to ‘help make the world a better place’? (Really sit with that one if you’re angry about other people’s hatred.) What truly makes the world better? (Clue: your answer is not going to be that anger is what makes the world go ‘round.)
I am not condemning anger. Anger has its place in the picture as the first step out of being “at effect” of your surroundings. What I am suggesting is that you continue on with your growth and find out what is farther up the path. Trust that what you find will be more effective, more powerful and can accomplish more than anger could ever hope to accomplish.
Again, if San Francisco is where you really want to be, you’re not going to take up living on the Golden Gate Bridge because it’s what helped get you there. Thank the bridge and move on.
- Emilia Ann