“Hello Anger. I love you.” What Anger Tells Us
Anger is our friend. Yes, a friend 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.
Here’s an example of one woman, let’s call her Susan. Eleven years ago, her boyfriend blew off her birthday after they’d been together for two months. 10 years later, and she is still angry and expecting something different even though he already showed her who he is. 10 years later and the angry looks, crying and begging she directed at him because he did nothing for her birthday were like driving to McDonald’s and demanding pizza.
Here is another example. 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 becomes upset each time she fancies something extra such as a vacation with him, a dinner out or a new car. She’s laments each time she is not able to receive pizza from McDonald’s.
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 when once again, 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.
Enough you say. What does this relate to loving our anger? First, our anger offers us a clue to where we need to let surrender and not expect anything different. In other words, accept what is. It took Susan 10 years and filing for divorce for her to stop complaining and take her birthday into her own hands. She had a women’s (their kids were welcome too) only birthday party for herself this past year. 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.
Some stuff is not 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.
The following Beautiful Energy video will guide you on this journey. I need to follow my own advice and follow along as well (You think!?).
Loving all parts of you, Susan