The Flying Trapeze
Anger Gulch - Part 2

So, you’ve decided to acknowledge that you may have a problem with anger! That’s good news.

Anger has been described as a “trapeze” emotion (see Ed Young, Fatal Distractions, 2000). And like a trapeze artist, one can swing from one emotional platform to another with anger (that’s the beauty of it); underneath, however, it is often a cover for fear . . . . Fear, is what I like to call “the real F-word.” Its effects run far deeper than the epithet used in such an off-handed way these days.

To deal with our anger, we must be willing to look deeper than what is on the surface. Because the trouble with a “trapeze” emotion is that it is never what it appears to be. And sometimes . . . there is no “net” below the trapeze artist. So when he or she falls, he or she falls hard.

How to get freedom from anger:

  1.  Admit to yourself that you have an allergy to anger (i.e. it makes you swell up); it controls you and seems to have a life of its own.
  2. Tell this self-truth to a trusted friend(s).
  3. Start a journal (or if that word bothers you, call it a notebook or something), and begin to record your feelings of anger each day: when they occur, why they occur, and how they make you feel.

Resources:


4 comments

  1. Is there such a thing as “situational anger”? I really don’t see myself as an angry person….but I do get angry because of a “situation” I am having to deal with, which is not of my making. On a daily basis, I am having to deal with the results of this situation. I would love to make everything better but it’s not mine for the doing. Since I can’t “put my cards on the table” I just have to push the anger down and hold on to the idea that “this too shall pass!”

    1. Yes, I think there is situational anger. The challenge for me is what I do with my anger. You are in a tough spot, no doubt, but one we all share regularly, i.e. a situation of someone else’s making affecting ME. For example, a stranger’s poor driving skills causing ME to swerve and do damage to MY car; my day was fine before that, but now someone has upset the proverbial apple cart, and I must react.

      You MUST “put your cards on the table,” however. You have to carefully choose WITH WHOM you do that, of course. Verbal is fine, but WRITING, JOURNALING, is (I have found – although I fought it tenaciously, and still do) essential. “Pushing down” the anger may seem fine for the moment, but in the long run it will show itself in health issues, emotional issues, etc.

      It reminds me of Emerson’s quote about our desire to be “settled.” He says that “only insofar as we are unsettled is there any hope for us.”

      Suggested Actions:
      (1) Write out (by hand, if possible) everything you would LIKE TO SAY if the opportunity was right (which, I understand from you, it is not); hold NOTHING back. Read it out loud to yourself, or to a trusted friend.
      (2) Release it! Let it go! (this can be done by burning it, destroying it some other way, or “putting in on a God-blanket”). You must get it OUT OF YOURSELF (otherwise it metastasizes); the result will be clearer thinking.

      Note that nothing you have done in this (above) has changed the situation. But it will change YOU.

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