“I am so grateful to you, my dear Anger, that you empowered me to walk the path of dignity and being true to myself. Deep inside, I had always longed for it. You do not want to control me or run my life – but protect me and help me become aware of reality and my truth. All that you ever needed, and still need from me is that I listen to you, respectfully and carefully, so that I may apprehend your message – then you pass. You have the ability and power to show me what is wrong in my life and what was wrong in my past – until I can comprehend it and make the necessary changes to improve my life and claim my freedom.
Although you only come at times to share with me what you realize, others seem to believe that I have a problem with anger if I allow myself to explore you. They judge me if I try to understand you and want to learn from you. They put you into the category of so-called “bad emotions” that must be “released.” They even condemn you – although you have so much to tell, above all about a human being’s childhood!
Many people, religions, ideologies and societies consider themselves forgiving, just and humane – yet they have Beliefs that are filled with resentment and prejudice that encourage their followers, even give them the permission, to hate others and to act revengefully. They present as truth intolerant, even hateful beliefs about “others” that have not harmed them but refuse to go along with their limiting, authoritarian creeds. They use their beliefs to justify cruel, vindictive deeds and the defamation and condemnation of others, also after they have died.
So-called spiritual beliefs pride themselves with having overcome religious dogma. But they cling to vague, impalpable and indefinable guidelines for “salvation” and a better life, which often stem from ancient traditions that also have served the denial of feelings and the violent treatment of the most vulnerable humans beings. These traditions neither recognize the origins of so-called “bad emotions” nor the importance of anger and all human feelings. They suppress the most valuable and essential information, which feelings provide about the true nature and unique individuality, history and development of every human being. They condemn above all anger and hatred as “negative feelings” and advise forgiveness as the panacea for healing all sorts of social ills, of conflicts and of one’s relationships, especially the one with one’s parents. But does that work? Are you, dear anger, without meaning, use and value? Are you simply an error, a mistake, a crazy whim of nature that we can push aside and bury – without looking at it, without consequences for doing so?
It makes sense to understand forgiveness as giving up revenge. But anger cannot be for-given or willed away – only understood. I have made the experience when so-called “negative emotions” are being listened to, that the desire for revenge and unjustified, blind hatred passes, as people can understand their anger and its origins.
Many spiritual beliefs want us to overcome “negative emotions” and tell us that only “positive emotions” are helpful. A famous spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, teaches: “We must also realize that these negative emotions are not only very bad and harmful to one personally, but are also harmful to society and the future of the whole world.”
Yes, I agree, taking out anger and hatred on innocent others, above all on powerless children, is a dangerous, despicable crime that creates violence, anger and hatred from the cradle on – and never, ever peace. Violence against children breeds nothing but violence. But I disagree that anger can simply vanish through meditation.”
This article is just a small excerpt used by permission from A Love Letter to My Anger copyrighted to Barbara Rogers 2007. Click to read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
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