Painted Heart

Facing into Anger

The first time I watched two talented performers dance the tango, I was mesmerized by the precision of their movements and the rapidity with which they changed direction. Anger is like that for me. Not there at all and then, in an instant, staring me in the face. My experiences with personal anger are much rarer than they once were, partly as a result of years of meditation training and partly from the related exploration of emotional baggage I carried with me for a long time.

Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to observe the anger of several people close to me, each time in a different circumstance, and then I had a personal experience that brought me face-to-face with my old tango partner. The details of that situation do not matter for the purposes of this post, but what fascinated me in that moment was both the intensity of the anger and the confusion about where all that emotion had been hiding deep inside. My anger was triggered by lies from someone I trusted, lies that deeply affected me (and others) because the purpose of the lies was to withhold information that we had a right to have.

I learned much from that recent experience, and while I would not have voluntarily signed up for those lessons, they have helped me better understand the link between anger and fear. And more than anything they reminded me that in every moment, I CHOOSE my reaction to situations, and my choices ultimately lead me to anger or to forgiveness, to sadness or gratitude, to fear or love.

Now, more than ever before, I feel compelled to choose love, to choose compassion, to choose forgiveness, and to be grateful for the lessons that help me see how these choices shape my life.

14 Responses to Facing into Anger

  1. wms August 28, 2017 at 2:21 am #

    Thank you for the authenticity and honesty of this post. I find anger one of the most difficult feelings to feel. And, I am aware that I am much better at being angry at myself than others. Instead of exploring and addressing the source of anger, too often I’ve pushed it down. Now, I practice perspective taking, pausing, and – if I just have to get the “ick” of anger out – writing a letter that says everything I want/need to say about whatever it is that ruffled my feathers. Then I throw the letter in the bin.

    Thank you again for this,

    Sending warmth and love…

    • sharon August 28, 2017 at 6:10 am #

      I am very grateful to you for your comments and suggestions on dealing with anger, highlighting the importance of “exploring and addressing the source of anger.” This is so true.

      With many thanks and a very big hug,

      Sharon

  2. RAMONA August 21, 2017 at 8:08 pm #

    TODAY, WAS SUCH A WONDERFUL DAY.
    I FELT LIKE I WAS ON A CHILD FIELD TRIP.
    WHILE I WAS AT ACMOORE, PEOPLE WERE RUSHING TO THE PARKING LOT, TO WATCH THE ECLIPSE.
    FOLKS WERE SHARING THE GLASSES AND THE BOXES, THEY HAD MADE.
    PEOPLE BEING NICE TO STRANGERS.
    NATURE COOLED OFF THE EARTH.
    WE WERE FOCUSING ON SHARING AN EXPERIENCE.
    PEOPLE HAVE TO EXCLUDE NEGATIVE PEOPLE AND NEGATIVE ANGER.
    WE ARE ALL ANIMALS AND WE CAN FEEL ANGER AND DECEIT.
    KEEP THOSE PEOPLE OUT OF YOUR CIRCLE.
    NEGATIVE ENERGY AND BEHAVIOR IS TOO OFTEN TOLERATED.
    RAISE YOUR SOCIAL STANDARDS AND YOUR ENVIRONMENT WILL BE EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY HEALTHIER.
    STAY AWAY FROM ANGRY POLLUTION………
    STAY FOCUCED ON THE PERSON IN THE MIRROR AND THE PEOPLE YOU SHARE YOUR SPACE…..

    • sharon August 22, 2017 at 6:15 am #

      Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your beautiful experience of the solar eclipse, Ramona. It was amazing to have so many people staring up at the moon and the sun, united in wonder and appreciation. Thanks, too, for your advice to steer clear of anger.

      Sending love and a very big hug,

      Sharon

  3. Patricia August 21, 2017 at 9:17 am #

    Thank you Sharon, as you said in a prior post so well…each experience is an opportunity to create a better version of myself…this is our evolution here, bless everyone today on the solar eclipse and U.S. love for all.

    • sharon August 21, 2017 at 9:31 am #

      Patricia, I am very grateful to you for your comment, blessing and love for all. What beautiful gifts!

      With love and a very big hug,

      Sharon

  4. Kate Denby August 21, 2017 at 7:10 am #

    Sharon, thank you for sharing your recent tango with anger. I, too, have recently experienced anger with a close family member and I, too, was surprised by the intensity of my emotion. When I took a good hard look at my reaction, I realized that what I was really feeling was hurt. Hurt that this individual had chosen to treat me in such a thoughtless way. After meditation and writing on the episode, I decided it is my choice to decide how I react to such actions.

    Going forward, I choose to exercise neutrality in these situations. Someone can hurt me or elicit anger only if I allow them to do so. I am always at choice. I am hopeful my new strategy will work. Only time will tell. But I think it’s a step in the right direction.

    • sharon August 21, 2017 at 9:28 am #

      Kate, thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience with anger and how you handled it. Your choice to exercise neutrality in situations that spark anger is an inspiration to us all.

      With many thanks and a very big hug,

      Sharon

  5. Terry August 19, 2017 at 11:07 pm #

    Hi Sharon. Anger terrifies me on both the receiving side and being the deliverer of that anger. It takes so much now for me to get angry because I try and work love and gratitude into everything I do. I know anger can be a very important feeling, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve become more realistic and more communicative when it happens. The tears flow and the learning process begins. Terry

    • sharon August 20, 2017 at 9:33 am #

      Hello, Terry! Thank you very much for sharing your commitment to incorporating love and gratitude in everything you do. What an inspiring commitment that is!

      With many thanks and a very big hug,

      Sharon

  6. Lisa August 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm #

    I read a book recently called The Noticer,
    and in it the protagonist says you cannot hold onto Anger or Sadness if your heart is filled with gratitude so I try to fill my heart with gratitude

    • sharon August 19, 2017 at 7:57 pm #

      Thanks very much for sharing your perspective, Lisa, and the suggestion that each of us fill our heart with gratitude. I am deeply grateful to you!

      Sending love and a very big hug,

      Sharon

  7. Janet August 19, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

    A beautiful, honest post Sharon. So glad our paths have crossed. It is such a wonderful thing to know that we do have a choice in all our responses. Warm Smiles to you my friends.

    • sharon August 19, 2017 at 4:06 pm #

      Janet, thank you so very much for taking the time to read this post and remind us that we “have a choice in all our responses.” I am also grateful to you for the love and light you share so generously with others.

      With many thanks and a very big hug,

      Sharon

Leave a Reply