My Dear Friends and Readers,
I have come to understand the components of my rage. The elements of my anger/rage are betrayal and or disappointment. The other components of this dynamic are my expectations and unmade requests. There is always dual responsibility when people are upset or things go wrong-unless “the thing” that goes wrong is an act of nature or God. And oftentimes we are blind to the real cause of our anger. Sadly random illogical thoughts can rile us up even without actual evidentiary cause. Or we reignite anger by dredging up old thoughts and memories. Acting this way is a form of insanity.
It easy to be angry. For instance, my boyfriend is late and he’s not answering his phone. I could start off by declaring “He’s always late.” Then I could add ” Who allows their phone to die?” “He’s so damn irresponsible!” “He’s so immature!” “He doesn’t respect me or my time!” “I should break up with him.” This mental barrage evidences little truth. Is he always late? I have on occasion let my phone die. Is lateness always a sign of immaturity? And does he really not respect me?
But we don’t stop to interrupt the negative untruthful thoughts in our heads- at least I didn’t in the past. Now when I catch myself revving up my anger like a snowball gathering form and speed, I can slow the process by deeply inhaling and focusing on my breath as I exhale. If this fails, my next action is to ground myself by tapping my body in a predefined structure with associated speech. That process goes like this “Although I believe that (fill in the blank).” I tap my forehead as I add that “I believe this in my head. Then I touch my eyes and say “I know this with my eyes. I know this in my body” as I touch my sides. “I know this in my heart.” I repeat the taps as I say “Even though I believe (fill in the blank) I know that I do not have to voice my anger or act upon it.” To those of you who have never practiced grounding by tapping, this may sound crazy, but it works. Usually, I do this tapping when I am alone and not in public. However, even if I am in public and feel the need to control my anger, I do it anyway. Either way people will think what they will, but I am likely to come off looking less crazy by tapping rather than screaming in public.
If I’m upset in public I have a different form of grounding. Silently, I ask myself if the thought that I’m entertaining is true? I usually can answer “no.” If I can’t say it’s not true, I ask myself does entertaining this thought serve a valuable purpose to me or anyone else? If I cannot say no to this question, I ask myself “Do you have any control over what’s bothering me? The answer to that question is usually “no.” If I haven’t calmed myself by then I ask myself “What actions do I need to take to make me feel better or rectify the situation? If I answer this last question truthfully, I am usually not as caught up in whatever gabbled me and I am hopefully in action in making myself feel better. In being in action hopefully I am acting with more logic and more love, especially towards myself.
While my exposition of these processes may seem simple or easy, they will only work if you have a true commitment to control your anger- otherwise these strategies won’t work. So why does controlling your anger matter? It matters because who were are to a certain degree is defined by our relationships. We cannot grow or develop in isolation. Relationships make us stronger and create our best selves. Uncontrolled, illogical anger will damage our relationships or end them and nobody really wants to be alone.
These lessons took a long time to learn. They are not easy to incorporate, but each day not lived in harmony with yourself and others on this little planet, is a day lost that you can never retrieve. There is little joy in un-shared accomplishments and achievements. Accomplishment and attainment ring hollow if you experience them in a solitary state. In the end we only really want to be loved as our authentic best selves. When we feel betrayed or angry it is because we feel we have lost an opportunity and/or have spent time and love on the wrong person. Yet, time is never wasted in love- even if it is unrequited. Anger hurts others and the angry person. Search to find what’s underneath the anger and from there you will find a path to what you seek.
Brianna S Clark
The Addict Writes