Today I want to talk about anger. More specifically, a certain type of misplaced anger. Or maybe not misplaced but exaggerated because actually you are mad at yourself too.
It's important to gain an awareness of this propensity so that this anger can dissipate faster; ultimately this is healthier for you. Understanding when you or your actions play a part, forgiving yourself and letting go of this toxic emotion keeps you moving forward. Anger is an anchor to the past.
I remember the first time I realized that my anger was misplaced. My daughter was 2 years old. She was whiny and I was to get home and in the house. I had to grab groceries etc from the car before letting her out of the car-seat so I jangled my keys to distract her and then handed them to her. When I was ready, I let her out of the car. She promptly dropped them into the sewer grate. I saw red! Fortunately, I quickly realized that I gave her the keys and, in my haste, I forgot she had them. As simplistic as this story may appear, the lesson is not.
It got me thinking. How many times was I truly angry at myself or was it intensified by my own guilt? Awareness of the possibility is a first step. The next is to take a deep breath and evaluate your part, if any. Own it, learn from it and then let it go.
Apply this awareness to all of the situations and relationships in which you find yourself. Ultimately, if someone repeats a behavior that makes you angry, why is it that you allow it? I am not saying you are to blame (certainly not) but some of that anger you hold may very well be at yourself. Maybe the situation cannot be changed at this moment but anger is a poison that only you will drink.
I made a very big mistake this week concerning my son. Of course, I had the best of intentions but it turned out badly. I was angry at his choices. Yet, as I confronted him, I realized that I put the "weapon" in his hand. My unfounded trust came back to bite me. Yes, he made the poor decision and I will not forget but a lot of that anger was at myself. As I verbally owned my part, other's present for this conversation thought I was blaming myself but I was not. I was just aware of my misstep. My awareness, deep breath, ownership and letting go had me bouncing back quicker than in the past. My day improved rather than spiraling downward further. Inner peace and acceptance came faster and I learned yet another lesson. I intentionally choose to live this way and you may find it gives you inner peace and freedom.
What we know about anger is that it inflates self-importance and builds a wall between genuine introspection and finding right action. Anger can be a useful signal, alerting us that something is amiss, but if we don't explore what truly makes us angry, anger isolates us from our heart's intelligence and our connection with others. Anger may be thrilling, but it also leaves us separate and alone.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are you angry because you allowed a boundary to be crossed? Maybe you have yet to set a boundary?
- Are you having a bad day already?
- Is someone else truly responsible or are you projecting?