Anger can Illuminate
We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves. The Dalai Lama
I saw an explosive interaction between a customer and a cashier recently that got me thinking about anger. It quickly escalated as they shouted about the other being disrespectful. Neither one of them were able to self-regulate. As I watched helplessly, as other employees intervened and separated them, I knew that their reactions were pointing to something else, something much deeper. Having no way to express their tender vulnerability, they discharged their pain onto each other, and it was a wrecking ball of destructive speech.
We have seen an uptick in incivility recently and the behaviors of others can impact our wellbeing. Anger used to be a fuel source for me, and I know it well. This tiny primer on anger may help all of us act with more wisdom and kindness to our fellow humans.
Anger is a valid and informative stress response. What makes it tricky is that it is a response to something else. It can stem from a sense of powerlessness or feel protective or protecting. It can mask feelings that are harder to feel such as insecurity, fear, or rejection because anger helps avoid vulnerability. It shifts the focus from self to other. This masking effect of anger limits our ability to stay calm and act wisely. Anger can point to something else, deeper in us that we care about. If we look and follow it to its source, it can shed light on what inside of us is being harmed. David Whyte has said, “Anger is the purest form of care. “
We can all meet anger with more skill- explore in your mind what might be burning underneath. Look inside yourself first because an activated person cannot regulate an activated person. Know that when we are angry, we feel threatened (real or perceived). Meeting anger with anger is never helpful. The beginning of wisdom is finding the right name for things. Name your own reactivity and name your own anger. Anger illuminates something within us that we really care about.
Lady Gaga with The Dalai Lama on Relentless Kindness
A site that hunts down positive news and reports it, fact-based. To keep our world-view accurate. It’s the anti-cable news.
Legos are now recycling their bricks.
Cancer rates are down in the US.
How to Heal from Trauma
and Break the cycle of Shame with Dr Paul Conti. This is over 2 hours and a thoughtful poignamt conversation on trauma.
Stay Well, Eileen
Please do a Google search using the specific words “Meredith Addison emergency nurse” and see what you find there… and then let us CONNECT and network our strengths to “ADDRESS” some of our living creatures needs!!!!
You know the movie “The Help”? THAT is one of the very BEST keynote networking focus areas which the Emergency Nurses Association EVER used as the “seed” to help cultivate networking among its vibrant and energetic membership!!!
I met Eileen at a conference more than 10 years ago. Her blogs have been insightful and helpful. The blog on anger is truly one that tries to help understand the incivility that we see more and more. I witnessed it at the barber shop just yesterday. The client could have done better had he read Eileen’s blog. Thank you Eileen