From a spiritual perspective, love is the absence of fear, and anger is considered a negative emotion because it emerges from the attachments and fears that block love and separate us from others. The suffering, injustice, racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and wars we witness in the world are clear expressions of the excessive need to control of a collective ego fueled by anger and hatred.
Anger is the reaction of choice when the ego is threatened in some way, to maintain its illusion of control: if I shield myself with fire, to appear stronger or higher than you, even if just in my mind, you can’t hurt me. This emotional weapon can be quite seductive, even addictive; it creates a sense of power veiling the fears and insecurities that are the real cause of our distress, keeping our vulnerabilities in place, actively coloring our perception but hidden from self-awareness.
Both consciously and unconsciously, the ego-mind reacts with fear toward change, regardless of how positive the ‘unknown’ may be, because ego is naturally attached to what’s familiar, what you’ve accepted as ‘safe.’ At times you may need to respond to an actual threat triggering fear, but more often than not your anger is protecting a self-image you’re attached to—of being good, smart, fair, attractive, appreciated, right, spiritual, strong, or any other quality with which you attempt to compensate your woundedness—your lack of love.
Emotional honesty and self-expression are key, because unresolved negative emotions turn against you. The fear of being hurt and the guilt of hurting others prevent you from addressing the people or circumstances causing them; so instead, you give your power away by disconnecting from yourself, turning anger into illness or depression. Suppressed emotional energy creates an internal bomb of sorts; it either finds a release valve by somehow sabotaging your life or your relationships, or it eventually becomes destructive against yourself or others.
But you don’t have to act out negative feelings to transmute their energy; if you comprehend that everything in your reality is a projection of yourself, and you create your life-movie with past and present choices, then it’s clear that doing this would just feed them more energy and create a more difficult future. By the same token, uncovering where your anger really comes from—your attachments, fears, and self-images—and finding creative channels to express it, without letting it rob you of your joy and your connection to life, is self-empowering.
Heal the Source of Your Anger With Self-Love
Once you find the source of anger—all the ways your self-expression and self-worth have been squelched or taken away from you—you can nurture self-love to heal and redirect this fiery energy toward your goals and aspirations, not against yourself or anyone else. But you must drop your idealized self-images and familiar roles to discover who you really are and what you really want, taking spiritual responsibility for your own life.
Anger can also result from miscommunication or misunderstandings, because the ego-mind expects other people to perceive and react to things the same way you do, which is utterly impossible: a good relationship demands the emotional effort to understand and clearly express what you want, need, or expect of others, and what they expect from you. Of course, this also requires self-awareness and honesty on both ends, which in turn bring about the clarity and love that dissolve anger.
If embraced and channeled constructively, this fiery energy can fuel your passions or cleanse your soul to bring forth some transformation as well. It can be the fire that burns you or, if purified with self-awareness, the fire that burns what causes you pain. It can help you stand up for your beliefs or your desires, inciting the courage to step away from toxic dynamics and setting clear boundaries to protect yourself, your rights, and the things you care about—but out of love rather than fear.
When I was a college student in my 20s, I had to take the bus outside my apartment and then walk from the bus stop through the college campus to get to class. On one occasion, I noticed a young couple quietly arguing about something, without wanting to draw attention. At first I didn’t make much of it, but as I was getting closer I realized the man had grabbed the woman by the arm and was forcing her to walk with him, while trying to be discreet about it, in spite of her obvious resistance.
I looked around to see if anyone else was observing them, but all the other students were going about their business as usual. In that moment a fierce energy came through me and I stopped in my tracks to ask the woman if she was okay. The man answered for her, saying she was fine, but I looked her in the eye waiting for her response. I could tell my sudden presence was making the man slightly more impatient and, to my surprise, also nervous.
As soon as she shook her head to indicate she wasn’t okay, I heard myself roar, “You let her go now!” He released his grip and she immediately rushed toward me. Then we walked together to our respective college buildings as she explained he didn’t want to accept that she was breaking up with him. We talked about bullying behaviors and the need to stand up for ourselves as women, and she mentioned she felt empowered by my fearlessness and unexpected support to deal with her ex-boyfriend.
Indignation Can Trigger Transformation
I’ve experienced a few times this powerful energy that surfaces to protect myself or others against some kind of injustice or danger. It resembles anger because it has a similar fiery quality, but it’s not fueled by fear; it’s indignation motivated by love (and Dharma, or Divine Law), and it can effect change. You can use the fire of your anger, indignation, or frustration to fuel a sense of purpose and direction to change things, or as a weapon—used only for self-defense—to set boundaries and self-respect. Nurtured for its own sake or as an end in itself, it may easily become resentment, distrust, vengeance, spitefulness, and a corrosive self-righteousness that destroys your peace of mind and blocks the fluid, freedom-oriented qualities of your soul.
But if your soul prompts you to take action to address something that’s out of balance, you must reclaim your inner power and use the fire within to bring forth a transformation with emotional maturity. Not because you’re better or higher than others, but because you’re a vehicle of Divine Consciousness with the spiritual responsibility to express your unique viewpoint with clarity, self-awareness, and love, and to experience the full spectrum of human emotion.
Negative habits of perception limit and constrict you until you decide, “Enough of this!” to bring an end to toxic dynamics or self-defeating patterns the ego-mind maintains to block your full potential. But rather than judging or suppressing negative emotions, you can utilize their energy to become emotionally and spiritually free. So contact me today to gain greater clarity about yourself and spiritual tools to grow out of the wounded (and angry) child archetype the whole world is stuck in.
© 2017 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.