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Anger and Change

February 18, 2015

Anger is a much misunderstood and feared emotion. Simply, this is due to having seen or experienced others using anger rather than expressing it. There is much intrigue and questions about the validity of anger and expression of it. I am sharing a question I received a while ago from a friend. See what you think. Feel free to share your thoughts and questions.

 

His question:
If anger is considered a negative emotion but it is such a motivator for change, why do so many professionals and/or spiritually guided people speak against it? Think of how much of history has changed for the better because of those people that stood up and angrily cried out, “No more!”

I appreciate the “total love and peace” mindset but can’t see how that makes serious change where serious change is needed. It seems to be like wishful thinking. (If I wish for something hard enough, maybe it will come true.) It just doesn’t make sense to me. It seems like the ones that are angry and defiant and insist on change, are the ones truly affecting change for the better, not the peaceful ones that don’t speak up. Think of the protests and group rebellions. Do you really think change would have happened without them? These seem to be the people that are doing the dirty work. They’re on the front lines “really” making the difference. Are they causing themselves stress? Yes! But it seems to be what really makes the change.

 

Answer:
Anger is a fantastic emotion.  I believe we hear spiritualists talk out against it because they are as afraid of it as are most people.  The problem with anger is that we learn to use it not express it.  The other fact about anger is that it is a fear-based emotion. So, let me explain.

 

We can divide all emotions into two categories: love-based and fear-based. Love-based emotions are, for example, love, joy, unity, freedom, harmony, etc.  Fear-based emotions are, for example, fear, anger, hurt, lonely, abandonment, attachment, guilt, shame, pain, etc.  Does that make sense?

 

Assuming it does, I’ll continue. Anger then, occurs as a secondary emotion to the experience of the primary fear-based emotion.  Without anger, we would coil back and not go forward as a result of the original fear-based emotion.  The fear-based emotions make us feel small– like we want to hide or run.  The anger comes in and offers us the ability to go against that which/whom came against us. This is why it can be so affective/effective with change. The secret with learning how to “express” your anger rather than use it, is to know your Self well enough to know what emotion(s) lie(s) beneath the anger and drive it.  It is then that you learn to express the primary emotion with your anger only as the driver. If we look at your childhood experience, we see a young boy who was being shamed, hurt, rejected by bullies. He did not know the options to express himself. So, finally, he stood up to the bully and demanded the respect.  We don’t learn how to demand respect without aggression in this culture. But we can.

 

So, my answer to the global question.  It is not the anger that motivates — it is the anger that is the tool used.  We are motivated by what is on the other side of whatever is angering us. What drives all of this is from our core is love and the desire for acceptance, happiness, and peace.  When that is constantly trampled, we do not know how to express ourselves. Add to that the utter frustration of feeling unheard and we have a volatile combination of emotions!

 

Can we make change peacefully? ABSOLUTELY!! But first we have to be willing to “go against” with our views because we believe in ourselves!  If we would express from our truth and not from expectation (another sermon!) we would be in a constant state of change. We would unite in the name of acceptance and freedom.  But we don’t. It is our passion for peace and unity that can drive change and peace. You will never find or create peace on a battle field. Stand up for what you believe but be sure you are living it. If I believe in peace, I may be passionate about being heard and may go against an aggressive stance but if I do so peacefully and passionately, I have a greater probability of being heard and having an impact.

 

In conclusion, it takes passion in our beliefs. It takes a willingness to teach and be consistent in our stance. It takes the acceptance of what is to mold it into that which can be. It is then that we will not be so short sighted as to think that anger is the motivation for change.

 

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Kristen Bomas, PA
398 Camino Gardens Blvd., Suite 104
Boca Raton, Fl 33432

561.212.7575
KB@KristenBomas.com

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