Anger. Such a loaded word, but how many of us really understand anger? Words like “light” and “love” are trendy among the enlightenment-seekers. Those are wonderful words and, yes, they carry great energy and power. But so does “anger.”
Anger is the desire to protect. It is not some dark, evil emotion that we should shun or quell. Yet anger can be grossly misdirected and expressed. When anger is ignored or suppressed, it percolates and waits for an opportunity to express itself out of its original context.
It is time we give this glorious emotion we call anger the welcome place in our lives it deserves and learn how to use it to make necessary adjustments. (I learned about anger from the great modern mystic, Almine Barton, whose audios and videos I highly recommend). Anger and pain are very similar in that they are both calls for change. For example, an individual might suffer a heart attack and thus decide to change his diet, stop drinking so much, and reduce stress in his life. The level of emergency is equal to the intensity of the pain.
It’s typical in our culture to quiet any initial instance of pain by artificial means, muffling it until it finally bursts forth as an alarm bell—making the need for dramatic change unmistakable. This built-in protection mechanism ensures that, however far off course we go, at some point we will find our way back on track. The only way to avoid great pain, however, is to watch for small signs of imbalance and correct them immediately.
Like pain, anger is an alarm bell that sounds when the wholeness of our being (the microcosmic body or the macrocosmic community) is under threat. Our true essence, which I will refer to as the Soul/Spirit, knows its true origin. Our Soul/Spirit knows it is not a body limited by the confines of the rules and restrictions of modern society.
Our Soul/Spirit’s built-in protective mechanism—its Inner Warrior—will revolt against anything that limits its power and threatens its purity. At the core of our suppressed anger, as individuals and as a community, is the conflict between our powerful Soul/Spirit and the social confines that tie us down. Imagine the fury of limitless beings in a world of limitation. We are like a caged lions!
From infancy, we step right into the trap of these social confines without knowing the consequences. When we are children, even our own parents threaten our inner balance with clear messages that they are the boss and we must not question them. We are told that the adults know best and we must obey them without explanation. In our innocent vulnerability, we are exposed to myriad experiences where our borders go unprotected and we bear the brunt of behaviors that throw us off balance. A child’s cries of anger may not always be audible, but make no mistake, they are there.
This creates the first layer of suppressed anger, which hardly ever gets released because modern psychotherapy overlooks it altogether. Only a healer or counselor who understands our connection to God-consciousness (seeing ourselves as part of the great whole) can help us to connect our anger to our ego-identification (seeing ourselves as a consciousness confined by the body). Thus, the Soul/Spirit’s immediate feelings of limitation are quickly repressed during infancy and childhood, and pushed deep into the subconscious.
When we see ourselves as a body in ego-identification, every decision we make is structured around making ourselves comfortable and protecting our fragile, needy personalities, always looking out for “number one.” These actions only shrink our being. We busy our Inner Warrior with obsessive-compulsive fears that feed imbalance and unhappiness. The Inner Warrior becomes a slave to the little-self, while everything in the outside world perceived to either threaten or bolster it becomes enormously important.
When we spend our lives protecting our fragile egos, following all the things that society tells us we must do in order to keep our egos comfortable, we neglect the truly powerful beings lying dormant within us.
When we experience profound moments of dissatisfaction and frustration in our lives, this is a sign of the Higher Self (or God-consciousness) trying to speak up. This deep inner agitation exhibits symptoms just as physical illness does when the body is out of harmony. Many of us don’t understand these feelings of rage and depression. As a result, we might fall into vicious, addictive cycles of drama in our lives, or simply medicate to numb the feelings. In anger, we are all too quick to cast blame on others, on our lot in life, or on our past choices. Unexamined anger emits endless negativity and casts all kinds of blame. Like pain, however, anger will only intensify until it forces us to see the real threat to our well-being: the mistaken belief that we are small and limited.
There can be no real satisfaction in serving the little self—only addiction to the continuous consumption of external stimulation. Until we stop taking these “drugs” (including self-congratulation, victim-hood, celebrity, superiority, cheap media entertainment, consumption of chemicals in foods, drinks, and medications) and recognize how far from the path of truth we have strayed, the anger will boil. However, we do not need to wait for anger to boil over into tragedy to decide it’s time to reclaim our lives. We can begin to listen to the subtlest signs of our Inner Warriors right now.
At the deepest level anger protects our Highest Self from being forgotten or sidelined, but on the individual level anger arises to protect our wholeness from external threat. When the inner being is balanced, it is at peace. We can lead a physical existence that supports a deeper understanding of life, strong relationships, and abundant creativity.
As individuals, we each have the potential to achieve a divine balance of physical, emotional, and mental wellness in our life. Our Inner Warrior is always watching and ready to protect that balance, but we must nurture it and listen for its signals. If we don’t listen, anger will accumulate in our energy field (just as food substances that cannot be digested accumulate in our bodies) and nest in our cells and tissues, and might eventually manifest in physical illness.
When we know what signals to look for, we can stop getting angry at the drop of a hat over something that is completely unrelated to the root cause of our anger. Instead, we can protect our inner being the moment it is threatened. If we do not express our anger in its true context, that anger will seek other channels of release. The energy must go somewhere. Anger that has traveled far from its origin (where it was created to protect our inner being) and mutated over time is corrupted anger. This kind of anger, when you finally express it, will almost always leave you feeling remorseful, defeated, and confused.
The next time you feel anger, say to yourself, “Wow, I feel my anger rising up right now. My Inner Warrior has been awakened. Who is threatening my borders?” The more sensitive you are to the signals of your Inner Warrior, the more quickly and intelligently you will be able to identify the origin of the offense. The signal might be in your hands, such as when you nervously tap them or your palms start to sweat. Or you might feel it in your head, as a kind of heat collecting there or in a constriction of your throat. Or it might be a bad feeling in your stomach, or an increased heart rate. Once you’ve followed the signal to the source of the offense, your Inner Warrior generally won’t need to attack, but simply make a readjustment of the situation.
For example, let’s say you are speaking with someone who is trying to make you feel inferior. Your palms start to sweat, which you know is your Inner Warrior alerting you to a threat to your inner being. You realize that you do not need to stand there and absorb the offensive remarks of this person, so you either point out their misperception or simply excuse yourself. The dangerous alternative would be to make polite conversation and then get angry out of context later.
Conquering outside circumstances to prevent the accumulation of toxic anger requires vigilance—just as protecting the body from unfit substances requires vigilance. Making the extra effort is well worth it. When we befriend our anger and communicate well with it, cutting offenders to our inner being off at the pass, we prevent the infestation of anger within our families and our communities at large. When we are lazy with our anger, we corrupt it and let it become exponentially more acute and we pass it along to others.
Anger can be a powerful tool that helps us to restore balance and clarity in our lives.
Enjoy discovering your Inner Warrior!
Yours in the protection of our unlimited growth,