Observations on Anger

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” ~Buddha

I’m one of those people who lived most of her life with anger bubbling just beneath the surface. I’ve had a quick temper most of my life that ignited from even the smallest spark. Oh the stories that I have from the chapter of my life titled, “I dated a teenage douchebag”.

The excuses reasons for my anger throughout my life are many. Youth and inexperience played a big role for a very long time. I simply didn’t know how to handle the emotions I was feeling. Temper tantrums worked for the first part of my life; whaddaya mean adults don’t get to fly off the handle at every minor annoyance?

I also had a lot of heavy shit that I carried around with me for a very long time. Shit that I hadn’t yet dealt with, and for a while there, would have happily left buried for the rest of my life. But one of the sucktastic things about self-awareness is that once you start going down that path, you’re pretty much “all in”. So deal with it, I did. And as I shoveled through that particular pile of excrement, my anger subsided. Who knew?

The people in my life had a great deal to do with my anger as well. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it was all my exhusband’s fault, but damn, it really was my exhusband’s fault. Dude could poke me in the anger button faster than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s just one of his many special talents. And honestly, not being with him means that particular button gets pressed a whole lot less. Because CBG? Well, he doesn’t actively try to piss me off. <sarcasm> What a concept! </sarcasm>

What I’ve recently found myself coming to terms with lately is that while I may be a whole lot better when it comes to expressing my anger (or NOT expressing it, as the case may be), the anger is still very much there. It comes roaring to the surface at surprise moments when I let my guard down (Hello ‘pigeon pose’ anyone?). It’s still there, even though it hasn’t been popping out at inappropriate moments.

That anger I feel when I’m face down on my mat in pigeon pose is anger that I’ve been storing up and carrying around with me every single day. Because I don’t release it, it just makes it way down to my hips and gets to come along for the ride each and every day. (Hm…I wonder if THAT has any connection to the size of my ass….?) I may have just hatched a new plot for size reduction – “Punch your ex in the face, shed the anger AND drop three pants sizes!”

Or something like that.

The point is, the anger really isn’t gone, now is it? Maybe I don’t blow my lid at my kids or fly off the handle at CBG for every minor annoyance, but there’s that anger, day in and day out, burrowed into my hips like so many double-stuff Oreos. Pigeon pose gets right to the heart of the matter and stirs it up, which is why I find myself wanting to kidney punch my yoga instructor after about 30 seconds. The more I fight against the feeling, the angrier I become. I know now that I need to simply allow myself to feel what I’m feeling in the moment, take note of it, and then let it go. Y’know, all that ‘awareness’ and ‘being in the moment’ mumbo-jumbo that I like to spout when I’m feeling like the Badass who has the world by the balls.

Most of all, I realize that I need to feel grateful for the fact that I have found a way to shed all of that stored-up anger. Because even if getting rid of it doesn’t actually make my ass any smaller, it will definitely make my heart lighter.


9 Responses

  1. The only thing that really helped/helps me release any anger I have with my ex is this: I try to look at what he ultimately wants, or what his motivation might be. I.E., put myself in his shoes. And usually I come around to thinking that fine, fine, he’s an imperfect human being just like me. It cracks the anger open just enough that I can start to let it go. Sometimes it takes a while. But my anger is this particular situation isn’t serving me at all, usually. Sometimes I’ll find that I need to discuss something with him, but that’s not usually the case.

    • I’m fortunate in that in the last year and a half or so, my ex and I have had a lot of good, healing, cathartic conversations. There has been a lot of forgiveness for past hurts – on both our parts. I’m very fortunate in this way, I know. And you’re right – taking the time to see things from his perpective is a very good start. It’s good that you’re at a place where you can do that with your ex. 🙂

      Much of the anger that I still carry around, I think, is more anger about injustices of the world, past hurts from others (outside of my ex), anger at situations that I have little or no control over, things like that.

      It’s just good to be aware of our anger and find ways of dealing with it appropriately.

      • I do know what you mean about anger at situations you have no control over. I sometimes get caught in a ton of anger about something but it actually makes it feel a bit better when I realize there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it (if that is the case). Then all I can do is change my reaction to the situation. That’s something I have to work on, of course. Easier said than done.

  2. Absolutely awesome. 🙂 Sending you a hug.

  3. That is such a good point. Pushing away the anger makes it worse (angrier) and feeling it and allowing it helps reduce the anger, even if you still feel angry, at least it’s not worse, right? And you cope with it, and release it little by little and it starts to reduce and be gone. That’s a really good way of looking at it, Sunshine!

    • Allowing anger has always been a scary thought for me…I used to believe that ‘allowing’ equalled losing my temper. I’m starting to see that there’s a whole world in between the two…dealing with anger in healthy ways. What a concept! lol

  4. Among my fellow Course in Miracles friends, we say, “when shit bubbles up, ya just gotta look at it.”

    So yeah, I get this post COMPLETELY.

    Funny enough, I read a book on energy (and met the author -> http://www.amazon.com/Positive-Energy-Extraordinary-Prescriptions-Transforming/dp/1400082161/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327531773&sr=1-1) and she talked about how we retain weight in order to self-protect. So again, yeah, you’re on to something.

    I’m excited you get to experience yoga again tonight. I took a lunch time class where I head the awesome reminder, “When you feel discomfort, always remember… it’s only temporary.”

    Boy, I can think of several situations where I can use that.

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