What’s your relationship with anger? Never have it? “Inherited” it from your Irish Grandmother? Rage-aholic? Depressive? Everybody experiences anger during their lifetime. Most of us know so little about it that we entertain myths, such as “Anger just happens to me,” it’s “all-powerful,” or it “goes out of control”. We attempt to “get rid of” anger (an impossibility) because we “shouldn’t have it.” (This is a guaranteed way to have more anger, which we’ll talk about later.) In the coming weeks, I'll be posting information and perspectives on anger that can help you change your relationship with anger for now, and into your future.
We’re told to “manage anger,” as if anger is a herd of wild horses we can only keep safely in a locked corral. Not to mention that anger is a gift, given to us to navigate life, the question remains: If you were a wild horse trainer, would you choose to “manage” the horses, or choose to be a “horse whisperer,” befriending and gentling those wild horses so you had no further concern about their “wildness”? Any person, regardless of their current relationship with anger, can develop “whispering ability” when they focus on Anger Mastery.
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When my daughter was 4, I took her horse back riding. The wrangler put her on her own very big horse! Not wanting to scare her, but wanting to offer help for the task, I said to her: "This is a big horse. It has a lot of muscle. But you are smarter than the horse. The horse is depending on you to be the 'boss,' so your job is to tell the horse as clearly as you can what you want it to do." She got it. Anger can be mastered, putting you in charge of using and benefitting from this powerful emotion. Anger can provide the muscle; but you are smarter and need to put yourself into the "boss" position.
When you’re an Anger Master, you’re in charge of anger; anger stops being in charge of you. You may be surprised to find anger is more in charge of you than you now believe. There are hidden forms of anger that we don’t recognize as anger. If you are in debt, are abused, depressed, seem to have your success in the world blocked, are sick, wracked with guilt, sarcastic, or find yourself being syrupy sweet in relationships, you are likely holding anger inside that is insidiously poisoning the vessel in which it is kept—you.