I thought anger was a secondary emotion. It is in my mind. But this , this , and this say anger is a primary emotion. So, I’m not sure. I’ve been working with anger a lot lately. How can I express anger?
Growing up, I saw anger expressed in screaming and throwing things. I am ashamed to feel anger. Most people would never describe me as an angry person. I work hard to keep up that image. There is a lot of anger within me. So, how can I process the emotion of anger? How can I set it free? When I hear the word “anger” I think of violence and threatening situations. Is it possible to express anger in a loving way?
In my work with anger recently, I express anger by identifying the feelings behind it and expressing those feelings. I see anger as resistance towards accepting either sadness or fear or reality. That’s why I see anger as a secondary emotion.
For me, anger is impulsive. It’s the first thing I feel when I experience something shameful or scary. But once I take a step back, other emotions come in.
For the most part, I am angry about things that happened in the past. Thinking about those things (or even mentioning them now) makes my hands shaky and my shoulders tense up. I often tell people that when I’m angry, I turn into a five-year-old again. I want to scream, cry, and throw things, but also I want to hide forever.
Something that has worked for me is meditation. I could write about how meditation has changed my life for a whole post. For now I’ll just say, meditation has changed my anger by diffusing it. When I am in that centered place, everything is okay because I don’t judge anything as “good” or “bad”. By meditating on a regular basis, I am able (in most settings) to feel that peace within me any time I want. It’s not just feeling peace, it’s releasing tension. It’s letting go of my ego and my desire to control. Of course, I am not perfect at this.
I just met with my sponsor and I told her that one of my biggest fears is that people will find out that I am not perfect at self-compassion or meditation. That’s a whole other post, too.
I am on the road to understanding and setting free the anger I have within me. I am on the road to allowing myself the freedom to be angry so that I can move past it with compassion and honesty.