Anger is a living energy that sucks the life force from every relationship. Anger is curable and understandable. It not only destroys its host, it destroys relationships, careers, and marriages, because, eventually, the creator loses the power to direct it.
Negative energy can seldom be controlled; it spews its darkness into the lives of friends and loved ones standing at the edge of the storm. A father who hates his boss and allows anger to dominate his thinking eventually develops a pattern of cruelty toward his wife and children because it’s the only way to ease the pain he’s created for himself. His anger justifies meanness and abolishes regret.
It took a long time for me to realize that there are only two core emotions-love and fear. Anger is the spawn of fear, so the greater the fear, the greater the anger.
It is fear that robs us of our health.
But, in my youth, fear was a weakness I would never admit and, consequently, I refused to confront the souce of my weakness.
For years, I endured a close, intimate relationship with anger that fed on my fear of failure. It almost ruined my life. I couldn’t control my fury; therefore, I justified the pain I caused by telling myself the person deserved my malice by being stupid or wrong or just too aggravating. How many times did I say aloud, I can’t believe people like that are allowed to reproduce-to breathe good air-to live.
The credit for my metamorphosis goes to my friend and teacher Dr. John DeMartini (www.drdemartini.com). I’d paid a lot of money to take his first course and I expected to walk out fixed, so I was furious when he said that anger was unresolved fear and once we find the fear, anger will dissipate. I felt I’d paid money to a fool who only spouted absurdities.
Then a few days later, as I was driving on the freeway, a car pulled in front of me. I was furious. How dare someone be so rude! How dare this fool get in my way! I screamed curses at the driver that would have made a drunken sailor proud.
As I caught my breath to explode again, I remembered John’s words and wondered, what could I possibly be afraid of? Just as the thought formed in my mind, I heard a voice say, Idiot, you’re mad because he’s ahead of you. You never let anybody get ahead of you.
This epiphany shocked me into the realization that I was terrified of failure. I’d spent a lifetime making sure I always came in first place. I couldn’t tolerate second place anything. I had to be the best-the best dressed, the best employee, the number one salesperson. I’d dedicated my life to being in the lead, always ahead of the pack.
Suddenly I felt a calmness that had eluded me for as long as I could remember. For the first time in years, I slowed to the speed limit and began to enjoy the ride.
Afterward, each time my anger erupted, I would ask, what am I afraid of? Then I’d examine the episode and take it apart piece by piece until I found the answer.
The first question was always: What am I afraid of? The second was: How does that fear benefit me? Once I found the answer to the last question, I was in control.
I discovered that I felt unworthy of a good life, of love, of joy because I wasn’t smart enough or pretty enough, or educated enough. In fact, I didn’t see myself as having enough of anything positive, so to survive emotionally, I felt had to be first to compensate.
I’d created an addiction that offered a short term feel good that couldn’t possibly be maintained. Eventually I was at a point where I not only had to be first I had to be a mile ahead of the pack. A close contest would throw my insecurities into frenzy and the outbursts would intensify.
But I felt the benefits of the flare-ups were enormous. and I got what I wanted. My anger gave me power. My fear gave me that power. It was the fear of failure that created my successful career in sales.
The downside was abject misery and a loneliness I could never completely overcome, even when I was surrounded by smiling people offering congratulations on my latest achievement.
All of that changed.
Once I understood the fear that drove me, and the benefits of it I became calm, sane actually, slowed down for the first time in my life. I began to enjoy people and accept their idiosyncrasies. Traits I’d seen as ludicrous became endearing. I was finally learning to bond.
Anger is a burden that only grows more arduous as it feeds off of us and those closest to us. When does this burden grow too heavy to endure? Will we allow it to destroy everything we’ve worked so long and hard to create before we’re willing to address it?
As the facade of guilt and fear falls away, we find perfection in the kind, loving person we’ve hidden from the world for so long. It’s through this interaction with our sub-conscious that we truly begin to understand ourselves and that understanding gives us power over our actions and control of our lives.
Once we comprehend our own emotions, we can empathize with the feelings of others. Although we may not be able to make their anger go away, our knowledge can keep it from affecting us because it’s the same as our own. We understand.
Interesting introspection, if you are into this sort of thing: Make a list of at least 37 things you are afraid of. Somewhere around 25 or so, your conscious mind will tire and the sub-conscious will take over. There you may find some interesting answers. Try it. It is fun!