12 Nov Consider: anger is never justified.
Anger takes over an otherwise rational, peaceful human being. And when anger runs rampant, most often we are left with righteousness or shame, depending on how we justify our anger. In one of my readings from The Course in Miracles, a line that struck me like a lightning bolt: anger is never justified.
When I suggested that to the 25 men in my prison program, you can bet I got serious backlash. When I suggested it to a very outraged, angry client, there wasn’t even an opening for discussion.
But why not start with: anger is never justified? If we stand there, then we have to start looking at how/why we do justify our anger, what we get out of it, and what it does to our minds/bodies.
It might be justified. Someone hits your brand new car and totaled it. Anger is certainly a common response, and we could say justified. However, the damage is done. It can’t be undone. The other person may have been texting, as happened with me a year ago, my car may have been totaled, as happened to me, but totaled is totaled. Not to be undone.
Many would argue for anger being justified. But what are other possible responses? Concerned that the other person is OK? Concerned that I’m dazed and can’t think straight? Instead, for me, the accident provoked serious thinking about why would I have this this happen at this point in my life? I stepped away and looked at the bigger picture. A friend offered his energy/healing services after that accident. And lo and behold, I discovered that I wasn’t getting sufficient attention at work for my experience, expertise. You might say that makes no sense. But for me, I always look at the big picture. What is the gift in this happening now. It’s a great way to live life, looking at whatever happens to you as a gift for the next step of your growth and expansion as a human being.
That lesson was profound. I went back to work after recuperating and noticed my mind start to go down that rabbit hole when I was ignored or stepped over for various things in my position. As soon as I saw it, I was able to let it go. Illimitably freeing.
I try to bring that to my clients, when they are willing. I can’t say it outright, but I can bring it into the conversation: what is the lesson here to be learned by what just happened? Some people resist and argue. Some speculate, and sometimes come to new heightened awarenesses about themselves on this planet. It’s an awesome journey, filled with life lessons, if we look at them from that non-intuitive point of view.
And in the end, who suffers the anger? Our physiology gets messed up, our minds ruminate endlessly, we lose out on a lot. Then there’s that F word: forgiveness. Gandhi said: The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. We actually have a choice in the moments we step back and look at a situation, look at the fact that we’re about to get angry – and in that moment of self-awareness, we really can choose something else; and in the end, feel better.