(I tried to find a picture of anger but only found pictures of people raging, which is very different, so here are some calming stones instead.)
I used to think that being spiritual meant being nice to everyone. I wish I could say that I soon learned that being nice to everyone doesn't help me or anyone else, but in reality it took me many years of being a doormat & wide open to abuse to finally get the lesson.
Anger is a valid emotion. We feel it when we experience something that breaks our rules or values. Anger has a purpose. Anger's purpose is to provoke us to speak our minds to the person who needs to hear what is in our minds.
This is what I used to do:
Push my anger down, try to stop feeling it, ignore it, be nice to the person involved.
You know what this lead to?
I continued to be bullied, abused, raped, taken for granted, used like a doormat. That doesn't make me feel very spiritual, don't know about you.
It wasn't just my belief that anger was bad & that nice was spiritual that caused me to push that anger down & be a doormat instead, it was FEAR too. Fear of the other person's reaction if I spoke my truth.
Suppression of anger in this way leads to RAGE. Now rage is not a good emotion. It is completely different to anger, and so many people are suppressing their anger instead of expressing it anger is often mistaken for rage.
Rage is a whole different beast. Rage is often violent. Rage makes you say things hurtful things that you don't mean. Rage makes you kick the dog or someone else who has absolutely nothing to do with the original anger. Rage is the explosion that comes when enough anger has been suppressed instead of expressed. Rage makes you feel terrible afterwards.
However, anger actually makes you feel good afterwards. You express it to the person concerned right away attaching the emotion to it. By attaching the emotion to it I mean shout, cry, express the anger as you communicate what it was that broke your rules. When you express yourself clearly in anger, you are heard. Anger needs to be heard & released, otherwise it festers inside & turns into rage at some poor unsuspecting soul.
The outcome of expressing your anger can be:
1. Expressing your anger to someone who is not self aware will cause them to react badly to you. If you choose to express your anger to someone like this make sure that you are protected first, make sure that they have no way of getting to you afterward. Surround yourself with self aware people - let the idiots go, they are not your responsibility.
2. Expressing your anger to someone who is self aware & who loves you might cause them to start to make excuses & defend themselves - stop them & tell them that this is about you speaking & them listening, then carry on expressing. This will lead to them thinking about what they have done now that they know just how much it hurts you & changing the behaviour.
3. In the clarity that you achieve once a completely valid emotion has been expressed, you realise that it's your rules that need changing not the other person's behaviour.
In my years of being a doormat I tried all kinds of disempowering practices like:
Changing my rules & being ok about the rapist!!! Ummm HELLO?
Changing my rules & being ok about the abuser!!! WTF?
Pushing that anger down, not expressing it, no change happening, still getting hurt over & over then rage coming out when it's time to give the cats their worming tablets - I kid you not!
So please spiritual teachers: No more of this anger is bad, anger isn't spiritual, whatever you do don't express it, whatever you do don't send that email, wait until you have suppressed your anger & have a ticking time bomb within BS.
PS. Now that I am expressing my anger properly I am no longer a doormat, I can eject idiots out of my life (I was disrespected twice 7 months ago & that person is no longer in my life), I can help the people who I love who I want in my life learn & grow so that they are not hurting me & others anymore, I am much happier, I feel infinitely more empowered & I can calmly give the cats their de-worming tablets. (Bingo & Raffles meow a sigh of relief)
I'm Claire Louise Hay, I help you claim your true power to manifest the life of your dreams through self-awareness and alignment with your higher self.
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