What is anger?
Anger serves a purpose to release deeper issues, problems and internal conflict. It’s a pressure release valve. Since from the body’s perspective: it’s better to release anger than to turn it around to destroy oneself.
However, anger is not very efficient and it’s the last step/tool in a person’s automatic release options. Suppressing anger is self destructive, as the negative energy redirects directly into your body. Anger is a path of destruction. Anger’s purpose is to destroy problems.
How does one heal anger? The true key is awareness of one’s inner self. Understand the root of anger is about releasing problems. It’s better to release problems in other more efficient and less damaging manners. So resolving anger means developing habits that release internal conflict in constructive manners before it can release as rage.
I had a teacher who taught me all about anger. My father was a wonderful soul, yet his one weakness was rage. He let rage control, diminish and then destroy his life. He showed me time and time again, to release with rage, always results in negative feedback from the rest of the world: which in turn would cause him more harm.
The lesson was very clear:
The world always reflects your actions. If you lash out in rage, then the world lashes back at you with that same anger causing pain/grief that still has to get resolved.
Once your anger gets stirred up, there is no true “release” except resolution.
Lashing out with anger is an inefficient attempt to resolve or make a problem go away.
The Key: Resolution
To lash out in rage is to still lash out at yourself, creating problems that will require healing.
So if you have anger
- Don’t hold it in.
- Don’t release it as pain.
- Release it as acceptance.
Now acceptance has many levels, since as you practice acceptance, you can release the anger long before it even boils up to become anger.
Long before anger: look towards your feelings, find the internal conflict (or external) and work towards acceptance. Taoism teaches peace is the true warrior’s path. The sword while an option is never used with anger or you have lost from the start.
Firstly: Don’t remove all aspects of anger out of one’s life, it does serve some useful purposes. More importantly at times you need some anger when dealing with other people. Occasionally you need to reflect anger with anger. Since anger is used at times as communication. Look at the wolf snarl above, it isn’t anger as action, it’s a statement of communication to indicate position. The wolf is saying: “I am willing to fight to retain my place.” The wolf doesn’t want to fight, in fact its trying to release the need to fight, with its snarl.
However, having said that, I teach that 80 to 90% of anger is wasteful.
Basic Techniques to resolve anger
In looking for answers you will discover many different anger management tools. Julie and I focus on the teachings that balance a student closer to their essence. This allows a person to find both a stronger internal baseline and a calmer perspective to work against life’s challenges. Here is a simple introduction to some of our teachings that a person can use to attain more refined control of their actions and finally resolve their anger.
When feeling anger.
- Take a breath, and just feel it.
- Look at it, don’t try to answer it, just look at it.
- Accept it, and then release it as a long exhale.
- Imagine it going into the earth as compost.
- With your arms sweep it away:Literally use your arm like a sword to cut through the feelings of anger to say I see the anger: and it is as it was.
We maintain a lot of energy to hold onto the past: the past is just reflection of what we think happened. In the now… it’s gone and only a memory… and memories are no longer truth, but rather guide lines only. It is as it was. Release the issue as most anger is actually a lie that people use to project and keep the past alive in the now. But doing so is actually a form of delusion: 80 to 90% of anger is based upon lies! Why give up your own power to such lies? A Taoist as a result just releases anger without fuss. Simply brushes it away as a lie and anger on its own has no power at all, except any power we give it to make it real.
In this example, the answer is a process of releasing both the past and any twisted thoughts that got entangled in that past.
This technique also ties into breathing techniques. Yes, letting go of anger in some cases can be as simple as releasing a breath! Breath management is used quite a bit since our thoughts actually flow against our breath. So by breathing with a deeper awareness it becomes possible to release the thoughts which are stirring up the anger in the first place.
For a Taoist this fact resolves 75% of anger issues. However, when your anger is based on painful personal truth, then we must look at the issues that need to be addressed and work a bit deeper.
After looking at the anger: then look closely.
- If it’s a problem you can resolve now, then do so… No lingering excuses or apologies. Be decisive, apologize once and only once if needed, make your amends and just move on quickly and simply.
- If it’s something you feel guilt over: then forgive yourself! Be giving to others in repentance for three to five times to put forth kindness in balance of the negative actions. But only a few times. Your life is never an apology, rather in kindness our actions are about now, not filling in the past. As I said before: the past is just that: past gone!
- If it cannot be resolve right away: then let it go.Instead resolve other smaller problems and be happy with that. Chip away at the anger in small resolutions/actions that over time will undercut the larger anger issue naturally.
You will be surprise how fast these techniques can help you resolve anger.
However, you have to be willing to release.
If you hold firm to “the past”, “expectations”, “lies”, “issues” : then it will be a long road in the release and often your anger will follow destructive means to create the release needed to occur.
In coming across a person who takes this longer road, you let them travel and go your own way. Every person makes their own path. Respect other people’s choices even the bad ones, since they are working on issues. The reason is that often times anger is Karmic in nature. You have to let a person work out Karma naturally and first hand, otherwise you just prolong their negative Karma.
Anger is a Karmic emotion, when you lash out in pain, you inflict negative Karma upon yourself and others around you. Pain inflicted thru anger takes time and active consideration of the people involved to release. As a result be respectful of those working with anger issues, Karma is a powerful beast and the only way to tame it is: with respect, time and acceptance.