When Anger gets out of control.
Have you noticed? How many people seem angry these days?
I guess politely put, you could use the word “frustrated”, but I think it is more than that. I see the protests on the media, and on our streets, the unkind remarks and responses on platforms like Facebook, and feel my own anger rising as I observe defensive positions that seem to be hardening in an ever growing polarization over Covid, over vaccinations, even over masks.
We were having a discussion around this the other day, with my siblings, our father and I, saddened by the fallout and effect this is having in our communities and even in our families.
My sister made the differentiation between anger, and rage. She quoted Marion Woodman, who said “Anger comes from the personal level, rage from an archetypal core.”
When does anger translate to rage? And what triggers our anger? These are good questions to ask.
I think much of our anger comes from our lives being out of control, for a prolonged time. No matter where you stand, we are all weary. Weary of the conversations, weary of the restrictions, weary of making wise decisions. And we can become angry when we feel others are not making wise decisions, putting us at risk, or taking away our freedom. This can come from both sides.
Honestly, I am coming to the point where I know we will not agree, we cannot convince, and we all need to make our own conclusions based on the wisest educated information we can gather.
Fear can turn to anger. There is much fear out there.
Fear and anger can also lead to depression and despair.
So my question was, in our conversation, was how can we be part of the solution? How can we be peacemakers and a calm presence in our troubled world?
Certainly we have to face realities of the challenging times we are in, even as we long to escape them. And perhaps that is part of our own choices, to spend time away from the news, take a break from social media, spend time in nature, where the birds still sing, and the beauty of creation is a healing balm.
When we are faced with an angry or upset person, we can react or respond. Deescalation is a skill we can learn which involves listening and caring, even if we have a different point of view.
One thing I’ve learned over the years (and need reminders to practice it) is to simply pray for those I feel angry with, or misunderstood by. Not out loud in their hearing, or in a “Lord, change them!” kind of way, but a private prayer to bless them, to understand them. This breaks down the barriers I might hold in my own heart.
As I look within, it is also good to examine why I might feel angry. What is triggering me? What am I afraid of? When I identify that, and seek help, it brings calm to my heart.
Truly, we can only be effective helpers if we find that calm center, and I need to go to the Source of Love to show me how to love.
Yes, these are challenging days. Even as we can be honest about our true feelings and emotions, we need to find paths to healing, and build bridges instead of walls. Feeding our own souls, through art, music, nature, and prayer can replenish us so in turn we can be a calm presence for others.
My thoughts for this week.
“What Peace can we hope to find elsewhere if we have none within us?”