Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Yoda
Is anger having an impact on our lives? Is it fear that leads to anger? Fear and anger are brought into being during stressful, hostile, or trying events. It’s no wonder our anger levels may be heightened. Is this not one of the angriest, most trying, and hostile times we’ve gone through? If our anger fuels us to change things like in Jim Rohn’s video The Day that Changed Your Life our anger is not only justified but helpful as it propels us to say “Never Again.” His “Never Again” was to never again be too poor to… He became a part-time multi-level marketing distributor and elevated himself and his family.
Is the point of anger to propel us to change something, or are we getting angry because our expectations are not being met? Are these expectations possible to be met? If we get angry because our dog barks or worse yet someone else’s dog barks we know dogs will bark and expecting them not to is futile.
We may be upset that we have lost control of a situation. In most situations, our degree of control especially if other people are involved is much less than we’d like. Don’t we feel more powerful when we are angry? Aren’t we more dangerous when we are angry? Aren’t we all scared of an angry person because we don’t know what they will do? Sometimes we let our anger get the best of us and we create situations that wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t angry. If we don’t have self-control our anger can lead us down a dangerous path.
If we let worry, fear, and anger control our lives it will probably not go well. People will make us angry but we can learn to control our reaction. In “Taking Charge of Anger” W. Robert Nay Ph.D. tells us there are five components to every anger episode: trigger, thoughts, feelings, anger expression, and outcome. He says we can break our anger down into these five components and he suggests we keep an anger journal so we can see how often we get angry, and we can take charge of our anger. When we start our anger journal we may wonder if “that” really should go in the journal?
Happiness: The emotion that puts your face in motion. Fear: The emotion that puts your legs in motion. Anger: The emotion that puts your fist in motion. Lesson: Don’t be afraid or angry and you won’t have to run and fight. Unknown
Awareness of our own triggers, behavior, thoughts, and feelings is what we are after. Once we become aware we can do something about it. Don’t we all laugh at the snickers commercials where someone is hungry and angry? We may find we are also dealing with a shortened fuse when hungry.
When I was driving my kids somewhere and they weren’t little anymore I would go sit in the truck waiting for them so I didn’t get angry watching them dawdle. How many families start out a long-planned outing or vacation in an angry mood because someone thinks everyone should be ready to leave before they are?
We may be worried about things and get angry, but if the anger isn’t helpful because it doesn’t propel us to action to change things, or it is things we cannot change we may need to get back to dealing within our circle of influence. We can waste our energy being mad at things we cannot change instead of putting that energy into things we can do and can change.
I’ve started my anger journal and will learn a few things. I hope to learn what are my triggers, thoughts, feelings, anger expression, and outcome. Maybe like Jim Rohn, I can use anger to fuel changes in my life that need to change. Maybe I’ll find most of my anger episodes are over things I have no control over and I need to put my attention back into my circle of influence.
Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. Ambrose Bierce
If one lets fear or hate or anger take possession of the mind, they become self-forged chains. Helen Gahagan Douglas
If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. Chinese Proverb
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