Anger is a double-edged sword. It is an essential indicator that a boundary has been trespassed, but when we act from it we are likely to trespass someone else’s boundaries.
I like to look at anger from a wider lens that includes our thinking, values and culture, the context of our paradigm. I see our human history so far as moving within a paradigm of domination, in which there are empowered and disempowered people, those on top and those under, perpetrators and victims. I believe this is only a way of looking at things, yet it has been so deeply engrained in most human cultures for so long that most people believe this is the way the universe works. It’s not the only way to function but I believe it is what has led to the current state of the world.
The way I see it, the solution to all of our current crisis at the moment is to step out of that old domination paradigm and start moving from a different understanding of life, a new paradigm. In this new paradigm, we know we are all one, that when I see fault in you is because it reflects some of my shadows, and that when I hurt you, I am hurting myself. From this new paradigm, I see anger as a warning sign, not an engine for movement. Because as soon as we move from anger, as soon as we see punishing/ judging/ limiting another as justified, we are moving within the domination paradigm and, from my perspective, perpetuating it.
So it is incredibly useful to feel angry when I feel pushed to wear masks. But the best use of that anger is as a flag: a boundary has been violated. From then onwards, anger has served its purpose and it is no longer useful. Hopefully, I can rant to a good listening friend (you know, those who don’t try to fix it or feed into it) and the e-motion will do what all energy in motion wants to do: move and shift. Well processed anger will often shift into peaceful yet powerful clarity, determination, and resolve.
When we are stuck in anger, I believe it is due to the fact that it touches old unresolved instances in which we felt powerless, and the system, in its wisdom, is using the current trigger to heal past experiences. I think the best way of making sure that we don’t feed the old paradigm with our angry words or actions, is to hold it with a lot of compassion and mindfulness so it doesn’t leek out, and seek healing. In my experience, we then get powerful insights which feed into words and actions that are a real healing balm to our troubled world.
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