There is nothing wrong with anger. Anger is a beautiful emotion, as valid and rich as joy or laughter. But you have been taught to repress your anger. Your anger has been condemned. If anger is unexpressed, it will slowly poison you. The key is to know how to express your anger. Do not throw it out onto any one. No one is responsible for your anger. Simply express your anger. Beat up a cushion. Go for a run. Express your anger to a tree. Dance your anger. Enjoy it.
Just by breathing deeply on your anger, you will calm it. You are being mindful of your anger, not suppressing it... touching it with the energy of mindfulness. You are not denying it at all. When I speak about this to psychotherapists, I have some difficulty. When I say that anger makes us suffer, they take it to mean that anger is something negative to be removed. But I always say that anger is an organic thing, like love. Anger can become love. Our compost can become a rose. If we know how to take care of our compost... Anger is the same. It can be negative when we do not know how to handle it, but if we know how to handle our anger, it can be very positive. We do not need to throw anything away, " (50).
Thech Nháº¥t Háº¡nh
Anger cannot be overcome by anger. If someone is angry with you, and you show anger in return, the result is a disaster. On the other hand, if you control your anger and show its opposite - love, compassion, tolerance and patience - not only will you remain peaceful, but the other person's anger will also diminish.
If you vent anger with the object of spreading your toxic feelings, the result will have nothing to do with healing. Your anger is your weapon. On the other hand, if you release anger the way you'd expel a rock from your shoe, your intention clearly has healing behind it. Once the anger starts flowing, both of these alternatives might feel the same. Anger is anger. But if you have a healing intention, two things will happen: you will feel more peaceful after your anger has been released, and you will feel like an old, fixed belief in enemies and injustice has started to move.
A woman wanted to know how to deal with anger. I asked when anger arose whose anger it was. She said it was hers. Well, if it really was her anger, then she should be able to tell it to go away, shouldnt she? But it really isn't hers to command. Holding on to anger as a personal possession will cause suffering. If anger really belonged to us, it would have to obey us. If it doesn't obey us, that means it's only a deception. Don't fall for it. Whenever the mind is happy or sad, don't fall for it. Its all a deception.
A very elementary exercise in psychology, not to be dignified by the name of psycho-analysis, showed me, on looking at my notebook, that the sketch of the angry professor had been made in anger. Anger had snatched my pencil while I dreamt. But what was anger doing there? Interest, confusion, amusement, boredom--all these emotions I could trace and name as they succeeded each other throughout the morning. Had anger, the black snake, been lurking among them? Yes, said the sketch, anger had.
But no: he was empty, he was confronted by a vast anger, a desperate anger, he saw it and could almost have touched it. But it was inert - if it were to live and find expression and suffer, he must lend it his own body. It was other people's anger. "Swine!" He clenched his fists, he strode along, but nothing came, the anger remained external to himself.
The song is an unvarnished love shout, an implorement tinged with... anger? Something like anger, but the anger of a philosoher, the anger of a pot. An anger directed at the transience of the world, at its heartbreaking beauty that collides constantly with our awareness of the fact that everything gets taken away, that we're being shown marvels but reminded always that they don't belong to us. They're sultans' treasures; we're lucky, we're expected to feel lucky to have been invited to see them at all.
Like anyone else, I too have the potential for violence; I too have anger in me. However, I try to recall that anger is a destructive emotion. I remind myself that scientists now say that anger is bad for our health; it eats into our immune system. So, anger destroys our peace of mind and our physical health. We shouldn't welcome it or think of it as natural or as a friend.
Anger is neither legitimate nor illegitimate, meaningful nor pointless. Anger simply is. To ask, "Is my anger legitimate?" is similar to asking, "Do I have the right to be thirsty? After all, I just had a glass of water fifteen minutes ago. Surely my thirst is not legitimate. And besides, what's the point of getting thirsty when I can't get anything to drink now, anyway?" Anger is something we feel. It exists for a reason and always deserves our respect and attention. We all have a right to everything we feel--and certainly our anger is no exception.
If a person shows anger to you, and you show anger in return, the result is disaster. If you nurse hatred, you will never be happy, even in the lap of luxury. By contrast, if you control your anger and show its opposite - love, compassion, tolerance, and patience - then not only do you remain in peace, but gradually the anger of others also will diminish.
Dalai Lama XIV
To think deeply in our culture is to grow angry and to anger others; and if you cannot tolerate this anger, you are wasting the time you spend thinking deeply. One of the rewards of deep thought is the hot glow of anger at discovering a wrong, but if anger is taboo, thought will starve to death.
Your anger is like a flower. In the beginning you may not understand the nature of your anger, or why it has come up. But if you know how to embrace it with the energy of mindfulness, it will begin to open. You may be sitting, following your breathing, or you may be practicing walking meditation to generate the energy of mindfulness and embrace your anger. After ten or twenty minutes your anger will have to open herself to you, and suddenly, you will see the true nature of your anger. It may have arisen just because of a wrong perception or the lack of skillfulness.
Katherine is the master of anger; she dominates anger. She takes anger in her hands and twists its neck, ripping its head off. She throws anger against the wall and stomps it to death. Her voice rises, it changes, it conjures up ghosts and cusses in a spitting Irish brogue. Then, when she's tapped out empty, she picked anger up between her a thumb and a forefinger and carries it outside and drops it in the trash. On her way back, she scoops up forgiveness like a bouquet, sniffs it deep and arranges it in a vase. She sets forgiveness down, shining in the middle of everything.
There is an intrinsic law: thoughts don't have their own life. They are parasites; they live on your identifying with them. When you say, 'I am angry,' you are pouring life energy into anger, because you are getting identified with anger. But when you say, 'I am watching anger flashing on the screen of the mind within me,' you are not anymore giving any life, any energy to anger.
I created 'The Westerner' because of anger - anger at never-miss sheriffs, always-right marshalls, whitewashed gunfighters ... anger at TV's quick-draw tin gods who stand behind a tin star or ten cents' worth of righteous anger and justify their skill and slaughter with a self-conscious grin or a minute's worth of bad philosophy.
Sometimes he looked at her and thought, Gosh, I wonder what's underneath all that anger, all that hard glossy armor? Maybe there's just an innocent, wounded little girl in there who wants to come out and play and be loved and get happy. But now he wondered if maybe that little girl was long gone, or if she'd ever been there at all. What was under all that armor, all that anger? More anger, and more armor. Anger and armor, all the way down.
When anything in life is an absolute requirement for your happiness and self-worth, it is essentially an 'idol, ' something you are actually worshiping. When such a thing is threatened, your anger is absolute. Your anger is actually the way the idol keeps you in its service, in its chains. Therefore if you find that, despite all the efforts to forgive, your anger and bitterness cannot subside, you may need to look deeper and ask, 'What am I defending? What is so important that I cannot live without?' It may be that, until some inordinate desire is identified and confronted, you will not be able to master your anger.
Anger can offer a sense of indignity to replace a sense of shame, and offer a voice-raised above others-which can finally be heard. Those voices are most effective when they are raised in unison, when they have mercy as well as anger behind them, and when, instead of roaring at the anger of old pain, they sing about the glorious possibilities of a future where anger has a smaller house than hope.
When the anger is intense, the person with Asperger's syndrome may be in a 'blind rage' and unable to see the signals indicating that it would be appropriate to stop. Feelings of anger can also be in response in situations where we would expect other emotions. I have noted that sadness may be expressed as anger.
People are often very frightened of their anger. They feel it will cause them to do something harmful. If you have this fear, create a safe situation where you can express your anger, alone or with a trusted therapist or friend. Allow yourself to talk angrily, shout, hit pillows, whatever you feel like. Once you've done this in a safe environment, you will have released some of the charge, and you can look underneath the anger to find what you need to do to take better care of yourself. Like any emotion, anger is a valuable tool, teaching us who we are and how we feel.
A man makes inferiors his superiors by heat; self control is the rule. Anger is an uncontrollable feeling that betrays what you are when you are not yourself. Anger is that powerful internal force that blows out the light of reason. Know this to be the enemy: it is anger, born of desire.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Set an intention to heal any unexpressed anger that may be present in your life. Go to a quiet place with pen and paper. Take a few deep breaths. Ask your anger to speak to you. Write down the thoughts and feelings. When you are finished, forgive yourself for holding on to the anger for so long.
Wherever there is injustice, there is anger, and anger is like gasoline - if you spray it around and somebody lights a matchstick, you have an inferno. But anger inside an engine is powerful: it can drive us forward and can get us through dreadful moments and give us power. I learnt this with my discussions with nuclear policy makers.
Somebody insults you and you feel anger. Don't miss this opportunity; try to understand why, why this anger. And don't make it a philosophical thing. Don't go to the library to consult about anger. Anger is happening to you -- it is an experience, a live experience. Focus your whole attention on it and try to understand why it is happening to you. It is not a philosophical problem. No Freud is to be consulted about it. There is no need! It is just foolish to consult somebody else while anger is happening to you. You can touch it. You can taste it. You will be burned by it.
Anger is generally seen as an unwelcome presence in our midst, however natural it may be. Although each person, and each society, is charged with how anger is to be appropriately channeled, the denial of anger, or its continuous repression, is a deep source of our psychopathology and will invariably seek its expression in a less healthful fashion.
Anger is one of the most common and destructive delusions, and it afflicts our mind almost every day. To solve the problem of anger, we first need to recognize the anger within our mind, acknowledge how it harms both ourself and others, and appreciate the benefits of being patient in the face of difficulties.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
It is best if we do not listen to or look at the person whom we consider to be the cause of our anger. Like a fireman, we have to pour water on the blaze first and not waste time looking for the one who set the house on fire. "Breathing in, I know that I am angry. Breathing out, I know that I must put all my energy into caring for my anger." So we avoid thinking about the other person, and we refrain from doing or saying anything as long as our anger persists. If we put all our mind into observing our anger, we will avoid doing any damage that we may regret later.
Balance and control come from healthy anger. This is just as aggressive as the unhealthy kind. But it is based on a belief and hope for change in social roles and institutions. Healthy anger demands change and creates the confrontations needed for change to occur. It also gives the other an opportunity to help make that change. "Our task, of course, is to transmute the anger that is affliction into the anger that is determination to bring about change. I think, in fact, that one could give that as a definition of revolution.
In the closing of this chapter, Lutzer describes the choice of forgiveness in more detail: 'Without both honesty and forgiveness, there can be no freedom from the fits of rage.' What happens through the years when such anger is left unattended or is unresolved (or forgiveness is not pursued)? Without forgiveness, does the anger dissipate or possibly fade away? I don't think so; but instead, anger continues in one's life and is carried into their adulthood. What kind or level of control can manifest (or grow) in this unresolved anger; and as for the person or carrier, what can be expected of their heart and soul?
H. Kirk Rainer
Sometimes the routes leading to feelings of anger are so convoluted and circuitous that it takes enormous skill to discern their original source, or fountainhead. But regardless of the reason for or the source of the anger or the relative ease or complexity in perceiving either the anger or its source - everybody, but everybody, gets angry.
Theodore Isaac Rubin
By all means give vent to your anger, let it out in nondestructive ways--if you are still deciding to have it. But begin to think of yourself as someone who can learn to think new thoughts when you are frustrated, so that the immobilizing anger can be replaced by more fulfilling emotions. Annoyance, irritation, and disappointment are feelings that you will very likely continue to experience, since the world will never be the way you want it. But anger, that hurtful emotional response to obstacles, can be eliminated.
When anger is not trampling roughshod through our nervous system, it is sitting sullenly in some unspecified internal organ. "She's got a lot of anger in her," people will say (it nestles, presumably, somewhere in the gut), or, "He's a deeply angry man" (as opposed, presumably, to a superficially angry one). If anger isn't released, it "turns inward" and metamorphoses into another creature altogether.
It is important to feel the anger without judging it, without attempting to find meaning in it. It may take many forms: anger at the health-care system, at life, at your loved one for leaving. Life is unfair. Death is unfair. Anger is a natural reaction to the unfairness of loss.
I cannot hide my anger to spare you guilt, nor hurt feelings, nor answering anger; for to do so insults and trivializes all our efforts. Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one's own actions or lack of action. If it leads to change then it can be useful, since it is then no longer guilt but the beginning of knowledge.
Pain in the present is experienced as hurt. Pain in the past is remembered as anger. Pain in the future is perceived as anxiety. Unexpressed anger, redirected against yourself and held within, is called guilt. The depletion of energy that occurs when anger is redirected inward creates depression.
Whether we consider the individual, family, local, national or international level, peace must arise from inner peace. For example, making prayers for peace while continuing to harbor anger is futile. Training the mind and overcoming your anger is much more effective than mere prayer. Anger, hatred and jealousy never solve problems, only affection, concern and respect can do that.
My father . . . used to say, 'I need my anger. It obliges me to take action.' I think my father was partly right. Anger arises, naturally, to signal disturbing situations that might require action. But actions initiated in anger perpetuate suffering. The most effective actions are those conceived in the wisdom of clarity.
The language I learned was pretty, full of passivity and silence. I had no proper language for the issues of blood and anger, yet much of what went on when I was a child made me angry. There were no words a nice girl could use to describe anger; her options were to remain silent or to use indiscreet language, the kind that curls in a room like smoke and soon disappears. We girls were taught to speak safely and to bandage our anger with polite, pretty words. We might talk about the anger only in questions and sighs, unable to curse, yell or break windows in the beautiful garden.
YOUR ABUSIVE PARTNER DOESN'T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH HIS ANGER; HE HAS A PROBLEM WITH YOUR ANGER. One of the basic human rights he takes away from you is the right to be angry with him. No matter how badly he treats you, he believes that your voice shouldn't rise and your blood shouldn't boil. The privilege of rage is reserved for him alone. When your anger does jump out of you-as will happen to any abused woman from time to time-he is likely to try to jam it back down your throat as quickly as he can. Then he uses your anger against you to prove what an irrational person you are. Abuse can make you feel straitjacketed. You may develop physical or emotional reactions to swallowing your anger, such as depression, nightmares, emotional numbing, or eating and sleeping problems, which your partner may use as an excuse to belittle you further or make you feel crazy.
There are different kinds of anger. There is the kind that flares bright, like a fire devouring dry wood - an anger that dies as quickly as it ignites. There is the kind that takes its time to rise, but leaves devastation in its wake when it does. And then, there is the anger that is always there, in the pit of your belly - gnawing, biting and twisting - and reminding you of its presence every waking moment. This is the kind that can kill you, if given enough time.
Sam J. Charlton
[The World Trade Center and the Pentagon] have drawn, like gathered lightning, the anger of the enemies of civilization. Those enemies are always out there.... Americans are slow to anger but mighty when angry, and their proper anger now should be alloyed with pride. They are targets because of their virtues-principally democracy, and loyalty to those nations which, like Israel, are embattled salients of our virtues in a still-dangerous world.
The nectar of compassion is so wonderful. If you are committed to keeping it alive, then you are protected. What the other person says will not touch off the anger and irritation in you, because compassion is the real antidote to anger. Nothing can heal anger except compassion. That is why the practice of compassion is a very wonderful practice.