I think most of us probably have been led to believe that feeling or showing anger is a negative or even an uncivilised thing. Today, I am going to tell with you that anger is anything but “uncivilised”. It is a defence mechanism that springs forth naturally anytime you are in a position of being “threatened, possibly harmed, or even rejected”. It is your own subconscious standing up for you as a matter of fact.
Most times anger is a manifestation of hurt, resentment, a place of feeling vulnerable, condemned or even called out harshly for the very things you are not so comfortable with within yourself.
Personally, getting in touch with my anger, I have discovered that, I am actually super protective of me. Which make sense because as I recover emotionally and psychologically over the years, I discovered I have an intolerance to superficiality, double standards, manipulative techniques employed by people which used to work in the past as well as lying. These are things that I absolutely abhor because they are detrimental to my overall well-being. I used to be hurt or even be emotionally withdrawn from such pains but these days, I really speak my mind ( this is useful if you want to tell yourself that you got your own back) and when you need to convey that your boundaries have been crossed.
I used to suppress my anger before believing that it was wrong to feel it and even to mention that I was angry. Culturally as an Indian woman, it was not a feminine thing to even show a slight of anger ( I always had to laugh it off or cry away in a corner where no one would see and say that I am okay). You always had to show compassion, love, understanding even while being hurt. I admit that is a beautiful notion albeit too self-sacrificial at the expense of one’s sanity. I am still very much like that but I have decided to show my anger only when this happens.
It is not about ego or “saving face” as we lovingly call it in Asia but rather more like self-respect. Granted Asians, in general, are very communistic rather than individualistic, some of us are outliers (me). Additionally, if you are in any way, shape, or form a religious person or from a religious background where anger is seemed to be frowned upon that is a grade-A concoction of utter nonsense. Anger is humanistic. If you are from a Christian background like me, jolly well remember that Jesus was angry that they made His Father’s house (the temple) into a den of thieves and started overthrowing tables of the market that they set up at the temple.
The issue is not about feeling or entertaining the emotion of anger but rather the manifestation of that anger. Do not let the anger consume you and get derailed that you do things/ say things that you would regret. It is easier said than done, especially for someone like me who is so inexperienced with anger due to all these years thinking that anger is in and of itself a sin and thus I suppressed it. I kid you not, I used to feel guilty anytime I felt anger. Thanks to verses like these:
Proverbs 19:11 A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offence.
Psalm 37:8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.
However, I remember the temple shenanigan that Jesus got involved and I am like yeah, whatever. His boundaries got crossed. Christians call it “holy anger”. My boundaries got crossed, that is holy anger too (just kidding).
There are some guidelines like :
Ephesians 4:26 “In your anger do not sin”
So, yes, do not let that anger make you do harm to others and to yourself. I think the first step in handling anger is to admit to yourself that you are angry because distracting from it is the equivalent of suppressing it and it will just snowball thereafter. Peel the onion, and see what are the underlying hurt or fear that causes you to be angry. Anger is not limiting, it is liberating because it exposes you to your own personal boundaries you may not even realised yet.
Anger is also usually a masked emotion of hurt or pain but operating at a higher frequency to push back rather than step down. Know what is causing you hurt and pain and if it does not cross your boundaries, find a way to deal and heal. Check out my other post about healing here . If they do cross , stand up and vocalise it. It is also does not hurt to try to understand the person who hurt you, most times these people could also be hurt and in pain themselves or have underlying issues that causes them to hurt you , intentionally or not. Understanding sometimes can be very healing.
Anyway, realising that a part of me would be willing to fight strongly for me for all the terrible things people have done or said or will do to me (regardless of malicious intent or not), actually made me feel a lot of love for my angry self. So, thank you to the me inside that loves me so ardently that it wishes to be my personal knight in shining armour. You are nothing short of awesome. ❤️