There seems to be confusion a-plenty around the emotion of anger, and if people don't start paying attention to my clarification, I'm going to become, well, just plain angry!
Ha -- JUST KIDDING! (But don't push it.) :)
The topic of anger came up last night in a book study group that Mark and I enjoy attending, and one woman mentioned that she considered anger against injustice and wrong-doing to be a positive thing. After all, didn't Jesus himself, in a fit of anger, run the money-changers out of the temple? (The New Testament relates this incident.)
Other folks felt that sometimes anger feels good, as in the case of venting. Friends of ours, Joanna and Aaron, mentioned that when they lived in San Diego, they discovered a business where you could actually pay to release anger and frustration by throwing and breaking plates and glasses! (That business could prolong the life of one's personal kitchen items!)
Is anger good? Is anger bad? Is anger good when it's confined to punching a pillow but bad when it, for instance, involves hurting a person?
Even with a degree in psychology, I never happened on a consistent, viable theory about dealing with anger -- until I discovered the teachings of [fill in the blank here.]
You guessed it! Abraham-Hicks. Ta-da!
Emotions aren't good or bad; they are, rather, messages sent quite regularly, if not constantly, from our Inner Being. They are vitally important indicators of what we have been thinking about, where we have been focusing our attention.
Abraham says that there are really only two emotions -- bad-feeling ones such as resentment, self-pity, anxiety, envy, etc., and good-feeling ones such as joy, love, appreciation, hope, and contentment, for example. Good-feeling emotions indicate that we're thinking thoughts that align with the way our joyful Inner Being views things and thus we are moving towards manifestation of our desires. Bad-feeling emotions indicate the opposite.
Bad-feeling emotions are bad for us; good-feeling emotions are good for us. Good-feeling emotions carry us "down-stream," in Abraham parlance, where everything that we want awaits us. Bad-feeling emotions carry us upstream to...well, hello slippery rocks and bashed-in boats.
So, where does anger fall in this categorization?
Anger feels better than immobilizing despair or depression, so if we're choosing angry thoughts over previously depressed thoughts, we're very likely feeling better and thus going in a direction that is in our own best interest. Anger, however, feels worse than happiness, serenity, harmony, or expectation, so if we descend into anger from those more joyful states of being, we're not serving ourselves well. We're headed "upstream," and Abraham reminds us that nothing we want awaits us in that direction.
But what about the anger of righteous indignation that the woman in our group mentioned? Is anger sometimes a sign of our conscientious concern for others and a motivator to action?
Yes, it can be. We may experience anger when we become aware of a situation that deserves attention. But if we stay in anger, taking action from that place, we will be ineffective. As Abraham points out, moving forward while feeling emotional upset will not produce the results that we intend. When we're focusing on what's wrong and feeling agitated as a result, it's impossible to have a strong positive impact. We're likely to merely manifest new situations to inspire more anger, courtesy of the universal Law of Attraction.
Changing a situation for the better requires focusing on solutions, feeling eager and happy to contribute, and holding that attitude consistently.
But isn't it always better to express our anger than to "stuff" it?
I don't know. Which do you want -- stomach ulcers or people's aversion and animosity? Not a very good choice. The real work involves changing the way we think.
When feeling anger, whether it's a step upward from depression or a descent from frustration, it's important to reach for a better-feeling thought -- one that feels a little less angry. And then one that feels a little less angry yet, etc., until eventually we no longer feel that emotional charge, until we feel, in the immortal words of Abraham, some relief from our raging emotions.
Relief. R-e-l-i-e-f. RELIEF. Some people get it (temporarily) from alcohol, drugs, food, overwork, you-name-it. We can get it by choosing better feeling thoughts. That's the best way in the world to handle anger. That's the trick to living happily and successfully.
Remember the TV commercial with the jingle, "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. Oh, what a relief it is?" Well, Alka-Seltzer, you've just been outdone.
Better-feeling thoughts are a wondrous way to cool down.