DAY FIVE

beyond the natural mind – a 21 day manifesto

Day Five

“Today if I feel angry or feel the need to criticise anyone, I will not try to justify the feeling, instead, I will let it go.”

Anger is a funny thing isn’t it? It seems to come out of nowhere! One moment we are all having a good time, and the next, Bang! Anger! Shouting, screaming, belittling, criticizing, name calling, threatening, pushing, punching, stabbing, shooting…

Some or all of the above may be present when someone is “angry,” (a state of heightened psychological, emotional and physical tension), and may be caused by perceived insults, a build up of tension to such a point it cannot be contained any more, feelings of being wronged, not getting what you wanted etc.

For now, let’s just accept that anger however justified, is not the most healthy of emotions, no matter who tells you that it is. Some people also say that suppressing anger is a bad thing as well, and it needs to be managed, by helping people deal with how they feel when they are “insulted” or “channelled” into an activity that allows a controlled release, such as boxing.
So anger management can be a good thing, after all, we don’t want people running round the world screaming and fighting each other due to such a simple thing as “perception.”

Is anger real?

Let us go into that question carefully. “Is anger real?” Well, the effects of anger certainly are.

People can be afraid when someone is angry, people can get hurt when someone is angry. But the emotion of “anger” itself is not visible to the naked idea, just the consequences of the release of energy which we have named “anger”.

So here I am, living my life when suddenly someone says or does something which starts to make me feel like I am going to boil over. Should I “turn the other cheek” or should I engage them in verbal or physical battle?

Let’s look at it from the other person’s point of view for a moment shall we? If anger is generated through our perception of events then you must have said or done something that made the other person angry!

You didn’t? Well, maybe it was how you were dressed, (what is that man doing wearing muslim clothing in a christian neighbourhood) how you were behaving, (having fun and being boisterous near older people who didn’t like it) how you looked (a white man in a black neighbourhood), in fact, it could be anything, couldn’t it?

Let’s face it, until we can see through other people’s eyes and perceive ourselves, we will never really know what triggers anger. You took my pen, you pulled out in front of me, you spoke to that boy I liked, you didn’t say thank you when I held the door open for you, you pushed past me in the street, you’re from a different group, you don’t believe in god, you believe in the wrong god, you looked at another man, you talked to another woman, you didn’t do the housework when I asked you And on and on
and on….

Some “anger” may even be subconscious reflex due to cultural conditioning, parental views, peer group views etc..

We can never truly understand what it is that is making people angry. They could probably find a million things to be angry about; but we can’t worry about other people and how they perceive the world, we can only concentrate on ourselves – on our perceptions, and the personal responsibility we have for those perceptions.

Today I take responsibility for my anger

Today I personally have several things to be angry about. I am still owed money by a person I did work for several months ago. I am angry with myself for putting on weight over the last year. I am angry that I do not have enough money for my trip in four weeks time. I am angry that someone was rude to me in a coffee shop. I am angry that someone bumped into me and didn’t apologise.

All very justified I would say. Any normal person would be angry finding themselves in just one of those situations, wouldn’t you agree? Well, whether you agree or not, and whether I am justified in feeling angry the fact remains that I must take responsibility for the feelings, not blame others for me feeling angry.

“It’s your fault! If you hadn’t bumped into me I wouldn’t be angry, would I?”
“It’s your fault! If you had just paid me I wouldn’t be angry would I?” “If you had just done as I said I wouldn’t be angry, would I?”

“If she hadn’t parked in my space I wouldn’t be angry, would I?”

Are you starting to see how ridiculous this anger is? We are supposed to be the most intelligent species on the planet but how easily risen to anger we are! Our large brains seem to struggle to cope with day to day situations, because our ideas of right and wrong and how people should act, and how they should speak to us, have been imprinted onto us from such an early age.

Let’s face it, we don’t know why we get angry do we? We may be able to justify it as I have done above, but we don’t understand the neurological processes that happen when someone pulls out in front of our car, do we? And although scientists may be able to map parts of the brain which “light up” when a perceived threat or insult takes place, it isn’t going to help us in the long term to be a less violent species, any more than anger management training will.

Sure I may be given some positive self-talk for when I feel angry, or hang a boxing bag in my garage to hit when I feel angry, but what if we dropped the word “Anger” and “Angry” from our vocabulary?

How would I describe how I am feeling? How would I connect with the processes in my brain and body? How would I use my mind to see through these “feelings” and understand their true nature? What does the feeling I used to call A-N-G-E-R look like? What is it comprised of? What colour is it? Where is it?
Can you see it? Can you feel it in your chest? In your feet? In your arms? Does it exist in others, or in you?
What purpose does it serve you? Does it protect you? Does it show others how powerful you are? Does it do anything to create a more harmonious world?
No?

Well I have one suggestion, let whatever it is, wherever it is, flow though you and ground to the Earth. After all, it is only energy! Energy just needs to find an exit from the body.

Let it go through your feet and dissipate through the Earth. The Earth doesn’t mind, in fact it positively encourages you to do something that creates more harmony and less violence. Try it today.

GO TO DAY SIX


by alan macmillan orr

2012

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