Anger as the Teacher of TruthBy Patricia A'dagata
August 15, 2008
A look at how the anger process helps us open to learning and uncover the truth.
ANGER AS THE TEACHER OF TRUTH
What happened the first time somebody mentioned the anger process? Was your initial response, "I can't do that" or "I won't do that?" Entangled in this resistance is often the belief that if one were to open to the anger within it would be endless or it would end up causing harm to self or others. Part of the judgment of anger as bad comes from the fact that most of us have only experienced it from the energy it possesses when done by a wounded, abandoned child in order to control others. The anger process provides the opportunity to experience anger as the teacher and healer that it can be.
For those that have taken the risk to step into the anger process and face the false belief that anger is only destructive there has been a new experience, the experience of anger as the teacher of truth. It is important to remember that anger is an emotion and as with all emotions it is information. When we feel anger it is because we are attempting to control self or others into hearing, respecting and caring about us rather then tuning in and making sure that we are hearing ourselves. What happens when we step into compassion for self? What happens when we step into compassion for the angry part and we give it voice to tell us what is really happening? In the moment of making the decision to be responsible for our anger rather then acting out of it we can stop, step back and choose to empower ourselves with the anger process.
Each of the three steps of the process provides an opportunity to acknowledge and hear the truth. Step one allows the loving adult to accept and validate the child's anger. This step can be a way of understanding how the patterns of wounding have moved forward from the past and are presenting themselves in our life today. It helps us to move through the shame, blame and guilt that we may be trying to place on others. It allows us to listen for where the old beliefs and wounds are clouding our vision of the present.
During step two we speak about the past and how the abuses, neglect and abandonment caused deep levels of pain and fear. It is a chance to speak what needed to be spoken then. To scream, cry and curse without restriction or judgment. Within those words one will find the false beliefs and wounds that were the outcome of the anger and abuse of the past. Old beliefs that we didn't know existed can be uncovered or clarity and a deeper understanding of known beliefs are obtained.
Step three then brings the final truth home, the truth that we, as grown adults, are responsible for our feelings. Even though we were hurt in the past it is really our choices that are continuing the pain of the present. When we take that truth and become aware of the ways we are treating ourselves that are either similar to the way out primary caregivers treated us or are based on the false beliefs created from abuse we are empowered to change this. We can no longer act from the place of ignorance because we have brought ourselves knowledge and with knowledge we gain truth.
We can always choose to do the anger process. It is a process that is best done alone or with the support of a facilitator who understands and can listen without taking in the anger. This process can be a powerful loving action that the Loving Adult engages in to take care of self. Imagine yourself angry to the point of raging and suddenly guidance steps in and you hear, "do the anger process." You disengage from the interaction and find a way to do the process safely. You move through it one step at a time. The emotions, the anger flowing from your body and suddenly you understand why you were feeling them and even more important you hear the loving action to take for yourself. There is no better moment then to know that peace. The anger released in this way does not come back and live inside you as guilt or shame because you've acted out at another. Instead it is released and replaced with truth and love. When you return to the engagement, ready to take the necessary loving action(s) you will do so from a place that is in integrity with your essence. What better experience of truth can one have?
So I invite you to read about the anger process, watch the videos and most importantly be willing to take the risk of allowing yourself an opportunity to express your anger with the full intention to learn. When you open to compassion for the anger it will know that you are ready, willing and able to learn from it. The biggest truth that I know is that the more one does the anger process the less it is needed!
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Which will be your guide today, fear or love? Which will light your way today, your desire to control or your desire to learn about loving yourself and others? If you do not consciously think about it, fear and the desire to control will be in charge, for they are the unconscious settings of your internal computer. Today, choose to be conscious of who is in charge, your fearful and controlling ego wounded self, or your loving Adult.
By Dr. Margaret Paul