I talk about anger with my clients at work almost daily — trying to find ways to help them cope with this destructive emotion. We talk about avoiding things that trigger anger, and finding healthy ways to relieve anger before it eeks out in forms that don’t serve a person well. We sort through the emotions that cause anger, because we know that anger is a secondary emotion.
You’re feeling rejected so you get angry.
You feel inadequate so you get angry.
You feel taken advantage of so you get angry.
You feel jealous so you get angry.
You feel disappointed so you get angry.
And then this week, our country elected a president who speaks anger as if it’s his first language. Because this anger resonated with people. People who feel those primary emotions that fuel anger. That loneliness, frustration, fear, disgust, irritation, rejection. I hear you.
So now we react. We’re all angry. We’re angry that this is reality. We’re angry that people aren’t accepting this reality. We’re angry that hatred is starting to be a norm. We’re angry at people for being angry. We’re angry at people for posting the wrong sort of anger on the internet, or too much anger, or pride that sounds like anger. Anger at its best is righteous — it calls out injustice and asks us to right wrongs. Anger at its worst tears and rips and destroys.
My heart is tired. I feel afraid so I feel angry too. Today I can’t bear the thought of one more Facebook post that tells the world to stop feeling this way or stop feeling that way. I don’t know what to make of this yet, but I do know that I want to be free to have feelings about my future and my world. I want that freedom for you too. So feel away — and treat others well as they feel too.
Love love love,