We’ll ignore it, submerge it, eat it away, project it onto someone else, pretend that we don’t feel it (“What? Me angry?”) or use an infinite number of ways to avoid being aware or owning that we’re angry.
Is it ok for you to feel angry? Or do you, like so many people, struggle with allowing yourself to feel angry and express it to others?
Let’s be really clear about one thing here. Anger is a feeling. That’s all it is. Our judgments about anger being wrong or bad or negative or dangerous or scary are based on our past experience of anger (our own or other people’s) or what we were taught about anger growing up.
Some “facts” about feelings:
- Feelings just are. They aren’t good or bad, negative or positive. They might, however, be desirable or undesirable.
- If you’re breathing, you’re feeling.
- Feelings are messages. That’s it. It’s your soul asking you to pay attention. Something is going on and your spirit is saying: “Wake up. You need to notice this.”
- Your thoughts create your feelings. So if you’re not feeling very good take a look at what you’re thinking. I can guarantee that you’re not thinking very good either.
- Feelings are not a guide to action. Meaning that feeling angry is not a license to act out. There’s a huge difference between responding and reacting when you’re angry.
Anger is a feeling and you’re barking up the wrong tree if you try to control your feelings. What you can control is your “stinking thinking”. Your unruly, wildly imaginative, critical, negative, judgmental mind. What the Buddhists call the monkey mind.
So what are the thoughts that ignite the smoldering or raging fires of anger?
Our rules. About how people should behave and how things should be. What everyone else should do in every situation from the trivial and mundane (how to squeeze the toothpaste tube, should the toilet seat be left up or down) to the profound and significant (whether to have children and how to raise them, how to express love).
The problem? We’re not even aware that we have rules. We just assume that it’s obvious how people should behave. We also don’t allow other people to have rules and shoulds that are different than ours. (And if they do, they’re wrong anyway.) We just assume that our way is common knowledge because, of course, it’s right, appropriate, obvious, the “way”.
Generally, when you get angry, it’s because someone has violated one of your rules and hasn’t lived up to your expectations of what they should or shouldn’t have done. And you believe that they should have known better because that’s what anyone of sound mind should have done in that situation.
Anytime you have a should, you have a rule.
Look at some of the times that you have gotten angry recently. What were your shoulds, rules, expectations that someone didn’t live up to?
The next time someone is angry at you, ask yourself what their expectations were. What should or rule of theirs did you violate?
Want less anger and more inner peace? Stop imposing your rules on everyone else. Who made you CEO of the Universe? Everyone you know has different experiences, values and perceptions so their shoulds and rules are often different than yours.
Hear this: Neither one of you is right or wrong. Just different.
(By the way, I’m not talking about things such as harming others and running red lights. Some agreed-upon rules are laws because certain agreements are necessary for people to live together in a civilized society.)
Next newsletter we’ll talk about why anger is the forbidden emotion and how to deal with it in yourself and others.
In the meantime, one of the most powerful ways I have found to deal with any emotion is tapping or EFT. Ten years ago I was really skeptical about EFT and thought it was a bunch of woo woo. Then I decided to give it a try. Tapping has produced powerful shifts for my clients and in my own life.
The Sixth Annual Tapping World Summit is taking place starting February 24th. Here are two pre-event videos:
Wayne Dyer and how he dealt with his bitterness and rage towards his father: http://thetappingsolution.com/cmd.php?Clk=5208380
Dr. Lissa Rankin and why some of her supposedly “healthiest” clients (those who were exercising, eating well, meditating, etc) were getting sick, and the big “Aha!” moment she had about what was causing it all: http://thetappingsolution.com/cmd.php?Clk=5208374
I hope you take a few minutes to watch these videos. Tune into the 10 day Tapping World Summit which begins on February 24th. Your trust in me is everything so know that I only recommend things to you that I really believe in. I recommend this event every year because I really believe in the power of tapping. Let me know what you think.