“Hello Anger. I love you.”
What Anger Tells Us
Anger is our friend. Yes, a friend who we don’t want to overstay his welcome, but a friend none-the-less. Anger points us to where we need to set boundaries. It also points to where we need to let go.
I’m fond of saying, “Don’t go to McDonald’s and DEMAND pizza.” McDonald’s doesn’t serve pizza. It has NEVER served pizza. Demanding pizza where there is none leads to frustration, disappointment, and resentment. Yet, I witness my counseling clients, family members and myself do just this, especially in our relationships.
Susan’s Anger Toward Her Husband
Eleven years ago, Susan’s boyfriend blew off her birthday after they’d been together for two months. Ten years later, she is still angry and expecting something different even though he already showed her who he is. Ten years later and the angry looks, crying and begging she directed toward him—because he did nothing for her birthday—were the same as driving to McDonald’s and demanding pizza.
Linda’s Dilemma with Her Partner
When Linda (name has been changed) met her current partner, he was broke. He has always been broke. His daughter told Linda that he was not sound with money. He’d always be broke is my guess. Yet, Linda continues to be upset each time she fancies something extra such as a vacation with him, a dinner out or a new car. She laments each time she cannot receive pizza from McDonald’s.
Are we surprised?
Most of the time we know what we’re in for from the start… He lied the first time you met him. He’s lied again and again. Still, you’re aghast that he lied again last night. He told you who he was the first time he lied. And yet, you demand and plead for him to not lie to you again. You then become upset once again, when he lies straight to your face. (I have absolutely NO personal experience of this. Right!)
As a friend wisely said, “You believed a liar when he told you he wouldn’t lie again.”
Yup. Demanding pizza from McDonald’s.
When Enough is Enough
Clue #1 – Anger shows us where we need to surrender
Enough you say. How does this relate to loving our anger? First, our anger offers us a clue to where we need to surrender and not expect anything different. In other words, accept what is. It took Susan ten years and filing for divorce for her to stop complaining and take her birthday into her own hands. She had a women’s only birthday party for herself this past year.(Their kids were welcome too.) She cooked a simple vegan meal and gathered at her house. All her needs were met—thoughtful gifts (non-toxic ‘healing’ candles and dark chocolate), birthday wishes and friendship. She went to the pizza shop for pizza.
Clue #2 – Anger shows us where boundaries are needed
Some stuff is never going to change. Accept them or don’t. The second clue anger conveys is when a boundary is needed. I’m a counselor by training, and I still don’t relate to the word boundary. But for our purposes, it means not putting up with further shit, for example, lying. If we grow angry when we are lied to, yet continue to trust the person doing the lying, who’s the idiot? Our anger is giving us the information we need to put up the boundary, in other words, stop taking shit.
Here is where loving our anger serves us. Set aside a few minutes to love your anger. Grant it your undivided attention. Ask it what it has to show you. Hold it and be with it. Afterward, allow it to leave. Yes, anger is our friend. It can help us stop going to McDonald’s and insisting on pizza.
It’s been almost six months since I first wrote this article. Here’s what I’ve learned:
Anger has its time and place but needs to be just one step up the ladder to our peace of mind and heart. A dear friend called me out on my anger masquerading as not wishing my ex well in his next relationship. Well, I was a little more cruel then that… something like, “I hope he gets emotionally crushed and gets gonorrhea.” She pointed out that it was the second time I said something similar. The first time was empowering and the second time was too much and inviting the anger to stay. Thoughts of revenge may be fuel to get out of depression and hopelessness, but these types of thoughts need to be traveled through to reach happiness. And I plan on being happy. Do You?
The following Beautiful Energy video will guide you on this journey. I’m following along with you.
Be well. Happiness to you. Love, Susan