Healing Anger, Living Joy
Discussion #! (more to come)
I see the GOAL of healing anger as: a process toward mostly continuous happiness and joy.
I see the PRIMARY PREMISE as: we all, as human beings, have the right to be angry sometimes. We DO NOT have the right to dump our a anger on anyone else.
I see the Good News about anger as: when channeled appropriately, anger can be a good motivator for positive change both inside our self and out.
As feminist economist Myraim Merlet says, "We must begin seeing things differently because, after all, things change first in one's head." I welcome as many of you on board this journey to happiness as would like to join. Now. for the rest of it.
For me there are two basic emotions: unconditional love and fear. Unconditional love says, "I may not agree with what you say and I may not approve of what you do, but I love you just because you are human like the rest of us doing the best you can with what you've got whatever that looks like. It doesn't necessarily mean I want to hang around you. I can detach with love."
Everything else is an aspect of fear. While "anxiety" is "fear of the future" (whether or not the future is two minutes away or two years away) and depression is fear of having lost something (which usually isn't the case really), ANGER IS THE FEAR OF NOT BEING 'RIGHT' AND 'NOT BEING GOOD ENOUGH.' If I am "right" then I make you "wrong." And since no one likes to be "wrong", I fight back. If I am LOUDER than you then I am RIGHTER than you." If I make myself "better than you" then I make you "less than me." Since no one likes to feel "less than" or "worthless" I fight back to be "better than you." (I think this is how wars get started.)
Since my anger is my anger and I don't have the right to dump it on anyone else, what am I going to do?
I can go for a long walk until I feel better.
I can to into my room, lock the door (so the kids feel safe) and scream and throw old shoes against a door until I feel better. (That was one of my favorites.)
What other ideas do you have to handle your own anger on your own?
An ARGUMENT is two people talking and no body listening. To keep a discussion from becoming an argument:
I can keep it light and clam.
I can talk from my "I" point of view. For example: I saw, I feel, I believe, etc. I can avoid starting any sentence with "you" for which the other person will become defensive.
I can leave the Past in the Past and not bring up a situation that happened five years ago to justify my current position.
I can replace the word "should" (the mother word of guilt "You SHOULD - or SHOULDN'T have done that. You are a bad person) with "could" the word of responsibility. "I could have done that. I chose not to." Feel the difference in your body? Translate it into your own language and and see if you can feel the difference.
The MOST POWERFUL WAY TO DIFFUSE AN ARGUMENT is to be on the "same side." Thus, no argument. When I let go of any investment in being "right", I can't be made "wrong." It brings freedom of detachment so I can then agree with a person's right to be angry and not necessarily with what that person is saying. For example, I can say things like, "I see you are very angry about that. Tell me more." (This has to be said with sincerity.) People want to be listened to and they want to be validated. "I hear what you are saying." LEARN TO ASK QUESTIONS: WHY do you feel that way? WHEN did this happen to you? WHAT are ;your choices about handling this? HOW can I support you? This technique works every time. It diffuses an argument immediately. I've used it often from family to gangs to government officials. Try it. See what happens.
More on healing anger and journeying to happiness next week. Please feel free to participate in this discussion. I would love to hear from you all each and every time.
With peace and joy....