Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Anger In Our World

I'm amazed at just how angry our world is and the level of anger in so many humans. It does not take one very long to see the evidence of that. Turn on the TV to any news cast or news oriented program and watch it objectively. Most likely, it won't take you long to see just how angry some of these people are.

Many of these people are mirroring what is going on in our world and so their anger comes through as "passion and emotion" but in all reality, it is anger in its purest form. If some of these words were just printed in the newspaper, they would not translate as strongly as when you see them on TV. TV gives a power and a force to the words through the vocal inflections and images see through the eyes of those that watch. It is a powerful medium that can be positive or negative.

Beyond TV and the media, you can see the level of anger by the discourse of politics in today's world. Civility and respect that once dominated our political landscape is now something of the good old days. At one time, this country had honest and open debate between people of differing view points. However, today that is all but a dream. It often comes down to one side trying to shout louder than the other side or trying to one-up the people that have opposing viewpoints.

Even in our every day world, there is a discourse where people really don't stop and listen to each other. It happens every day in the job, in families, amongst friends and just about anywhere you go. Everyone is too busy trying to get their point across that they fail to stop and listen to the other person. They fail in seeing the bigger picture and what truly matters in a day and what does not.

In all of these examples though, the way individuals feel about their lot in life has a lot to do with the anger they push out towards others. While many may not feel they spread their anger around or that they are even angry, you can see it in their words, their thought processes and what they fill their days with.

I remember many years ago sitting in a church of all places and the minister would talk about what we put in, is what we get out. If we take in garbage, we're going to spew out garbage. If we take in love and positive affirmations, than we are more than likely going to put out peace, love and hope to others. It is all dependent upon what we fill our lives through our days and minutes. We are what we listen to.

More importantly, we as a society need to stop and consider why the level of anger is so high and why it continues to elevate year after year. I would differ with most that it is not a result of what the government, or your job or someone you know does to you. It more than likely has to do with events that have taken place in your life or with stress that is building up to the point where you really need to deal with all of it.

Of course, many people do go through life oblivious to how the anger within them is affect others. I've seen people scream at the top of their lungs at another person and not even realize just how angry they are. I have seen people report news and been anything but objective because of the anger they harbor within themselves. I've seen people lash out in ways that an outside viewer would deem inappropriate only to not even realize how much anger they hold.

Anger makes us blind. Anger robs us of precious energy that we can use to effect great change in the world and in our own lives. Anger can cause serious harm and hurt to those who are innocent. Anger can destroy lives, nations and cultures if it is left to fester below the surface.

I'm not going to sit here and say that anger is a bad emotion. I know some people that claim that. However, anger is an emotion of fire which is sometimes needed to bring about change in our own lives. Properly given a way to come out, anger can be life transforming and enlightening. On the other hand, toxic anger can harm the very people we love, appreciate and want to be close to.

In my own life, I had to deal hard with anger. It permeated every aspect of my body, soul and mind. It connected with me when I watched the news and listened to the news pundits. It connected to me when I tried to nurture a relationship. It connected to me when I tried to live my daily life and focus on my career. Anger for a long time, had such great control over my life.

Until I began to learn that I could let the anger out in a safe way, my life was pretty miserable. Those around me wanted nothing to do with me and I could drive people away quickly. At one time, I thought there was no hope and then I had the help of a safe individual who walked this treacherous pathway with me. I soon learned that there were safe ways to let the anger out where I didn't endanger myself or harm those that were around me and cared for me.

All emotions are proper and healthy for our lives if they are in balance. Because of life's experiences we sometimes tend to act as if some emotions are unwanted. However, to fully embrace life and understand all that it has for us to experience, we must connect with every emotion we have. We must feel them and nurture them and let them be our motivating force towards understanding and greater awareness.

For when we hide from our emotions and we hide from truly knowing our emotions, we have taken so much away from who we are as people. To give ourselves life and freedom, requires us to fully embrace all parts of our self, including the parts we would rather not see.

Further Reading:
Trauma Recovery: Stages Of Anger

Blog Post & Images (c) 12/23/10 Don Shetterly - use by permission only

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