The Secret Indicator of How Your Really Feel
For reasons that I dont understand, therapists and teachers almost always miss the point of anger, treating it as a stand alone problem that needs to be addressed. What if it isn’t? What if it’s a symptom of something else? Treating the symptom rarely solves a problem.
On a recent morning, I got a kind of kicker to write this article. It’s one that’s been hanging around the back of my mind, waiting for the right time. Evidently, this is it.
As I say these things, you understand that I’m not a psychologist, or therapist. There was a time, though, when I was a very angry man.
Having passed through that time, I feel qualified to share my own observations. You may disagree with my thoughts, and that’s alright. Your experiences are undoubtedly different from mine.
What may not be different are the results that come from an angry lifestyle. It will tear your world apart, leaving you bare and alone, like the figure in that photo up there.
A few days ago, I took my visiting son to breakfast. We had a good time catching up and reminiscing. As I approached the register to pay our bill, two young women stood there talking.
One was sharing how angry she’d recently been about something. “I probably shouldn’t have been”, she was saying, “but I was.”
Smiling, I said, “I want to share something that I learned a long time ago.”
“What’s that?”, she asked.
Still smiling, I said, “We use anger to cover up something else. If you can identify what that is, the anger goes away.”
Her face changed as the idea set in. She commented about how profound this was. Whether it is or not is up to you. That realization, though, changed my life and the lives of everyone close to me.
I’ve experienced the failure, discouragement, fear and guilt that goes with anger. It pushes everyone away, including yourself. You cant be at peace as long a anger has a permanent place in your life.
ALERT: Anger is a secondary emotion. We use it to shield ourselves from other unpleasant feelings.
Think about times that you’ve been angry. What was going on in that moment? Were you embarrassed? Did some expectation fail to materialize? Did someone let you down?
You wake up in the dark and stub your toe on a table leg. Suddenly, you’re angry. What’s that about?
Next time you feel the anger rising within you, check it. What are you hiding?
When we realize that anger is a veil, we can pull it back and discover what’s really going on. Then we can deal with that thing.