Today I would like to return to your awareness an aspect of the Human condition that can rectify anger into something a little more constructive. And though it’s within our reach to resolve contentious matters in a quick and civil way, some will give in to hostility as if it were an ally. And so they will grind an axe halfway through its handle before calling any kind of truce.
Some say “forgiveness” is the ultimate remedy. The concept of forgiveness assumes someone is truly at fault. This may or may not be the case because “fault” is a curious assumption indeed. If you’re mad at someone the last thing you want them to say is “I forgive you” –and they don’t want to hear it from you either. Resolution is a different matter. Here we can rebuild the twisted scaffolding that got us hung up to begin with. We are Human and Humans are going to make mistakes and we’re going to ruffle each other’s feathers from time to time. If we can resolve not to hate one another then we can resolve to find equitable solutions through ingenuity and patience.
There’s really no greater burden than the weight anger puts upon us. It’s perhaps second only to guilt. It burrows tentacles deep into the very essence of who we are. Likewise, there’s nothing quite as liberating as shedding that nasty beast and setting it free. Anger begets anger and it has a voracious appetite for more. It’s a fire that can never burn hot enough.
I suspect you might already be aware there’s a trifle bit more to all of this— and you’re right! So saddle up your mustang and let’s take a short ride into the center of a brooding, red storm that sure looks mighty angry from here.
Red Light on the Dash
We don’t intentionally seek confrontation and disharmony although we all seem to get our fair share of it anyway. It’s essentially impossible to avoid, given the fact that it’s built into the equation of life. Sooner or later something is going to set us off and we’re going to get very angry and spend a good deal of time and energy smoldering over it. But getting angry isn’t the problem. It fact it may be quite beneficial, if not essential for our survival and growth. Anger is indicative of something sorely skewed in terms of fairness or principle, just as a high fever is indicative of something skewed within the physical body. One should take heed of either anomaly and let the fever do its job.
When two people are in the throes of conflict, dynamic tensions are generated and sparks will fly. And no matter how contentious the ordeal may become, both are sharpening their wits from the experience. Sometimes things heat up so fast that it becomes unstable. That’s when all stops get pulled. So we’re reminded of a barroom brawl where chairs are busted over heads and bottles go airborne.
Regarding the matter of who might be right or wrong really depends on how the referee calls the final play. And just who is the referee? It’s that person you look at every morning in the mirror. Back in the days of the old West, a short fuse and a quick-draw played the end game like no other. Matters were resolved in a powder flash and heartbeat. This dissociative response offered the extreme side of how some went about “killing” their anger. On a completely different scale we can liken this to smashing a toaster because it keeps burning toast. A crumpled toaster won’t solve the problem—unless you like crumpled burnt toast.
Getting angry is not so much the problem. Staying angry is a whole different ballgame. “Seeing red” is associated with being irate or enraged. I like that expression because I think of a warning light on a dashboard of a car. If the car is overheating a red light will flash and a wise person will pull over somewhere safe and let the engine “vent” for a while. The state of anger is no different. We may need to pull over and vent for a while too. The red light on the dash relays an urgent matter regarding the status of the vehicle. One must act promptly and appropriately to remedy it. The same is true for the little red light within us.
But the persistent state of anger is a most destructive and toxic state indeed. I’ve long suspected that chronic anger, stress and fear can stimulate our own immune system to go on the attack. It’s my opinion that this is the root cause behind so-called autoimmune disorders. The body senses a type of invasion that is neither viral nor bacteriological in origin. So it directs its energy against itself and the consequences can be life threatening. Over time the perpetually angry and stressed-out individual may find that they are always ill. Don’t let your little red light keep flashing without taking constructive action.
Setting the Intention
So you’re mad and the little light came on your dashboard. No problem. Immediate action needs to take place. Good! We are aware of a problem and now we must set the proper course for correction. We know that focusing on the anger will only intensify the problem. Not a good idea. Some will pull out their trusted voodoo doll and go to town on it. Sending bad intentions to another will most always backfire. -Again, not a good idea. But sending love and compassion might just work. How can one stay mad for long if they’re feeling compassion and love toward the one causing the tension? So you say the person is a “soulless jerk” and there’s no room for compassion. One can feel compassion toward any soulless jerk because being “soulless” is rather sad when you think about it.
My point is this—set your intention on repairing the problem in an efficient, logical and loving way. You may want to throw a wrench at that car that left you stranded on the highway, but what good would that do? Makes a bit more sense to get on a phone and order up a tow. And yeah, the local mechanic will probably push a few buttons in you too. But you know maybe, and I’m just saying maybe, we let the maintenance slip just a bit. We kind of already knew the old car was running a touch warm. Just sort of put it off though. You know, maybe we’re just a little, itsy, bitsy tiny bit to blame for the state we’re in.
Can we declare the person who stays angry the longest any kind of winner? That’s like the kid that can hold his breath the longest. He’s just a little bluer than the others. For one thing, staying angry is not economical. Way too much energy goes into the task. And one may feel angry while their adversary is at home sleeping and having sweet dreams. What a waste of darting eyes and grumpy growls. Such a state is a dead end, my friends. But it’s more than that. Could it be that anger has been engineered into our culture to create persistent tension and mayhem?
Why We’re Really Angry
Perpetual anger will cause the best of us to eventually break down and burn up on the side of that proverbial road called life. Who in their right mind would keep the throttle open on an overheated engine anyway? Since it defies common sense one might speculate that our propensity to embody and maintain anger might be a product of conditioning.
We see it in the movies and watch it on TV. The hero carries a grudge and a Magnum caliber pistol. We cheer the moment the “bad guy” gets peppered with serious lead. Many of us seem to have the hammer pulled back and an itchy finger already on the trigger. We’re inundated with negativity and violence pretty much on a daily basis. We’ve known on some level that what society condones as “normal” is anything but normal. The architects of this matrix have managed to create considerable tension by installing a multi-tier system of law and order under some illusion that it is fair and equal. It is neither. This imbalance favors some more than others and is felt in nearly all aspects of society through the polarizing effects of economy, political and racial divides, religious extremism and institutionalized education. None of this charade is normal— yet we’re expected to digest it just the same.
So we go to work one day and finally unleash on a co-worker who’s been getting under our skin for a long time. Suddenly the battle is on. The co-worker is also a product of the same tainted system you’ve emerged from. And since they’ve seen the same movies as you, they will build their Hollywood inspired response and orchestrate a carefully planned counterattack. -Very silly stuff. Just say you’re sorry and be done with it. You need to save your energy for what really matters.
The psychopaths that control the world like it when we fight and squabble. It takes attention away from them. So as long as we’re angry with each other we simply can’t be angry with our puppet masters. And so right on cue a bit of news comes out that divides a nation. Comments run rampant on social media and news sources on whether we should hate a traitor or love a hero. So we burn up a lot of energy and time arguing with family, friends and neighbors. What a joke. The real question should be why the construct was built this way in the first place. We should stop behaving like addled spectators.
We live in a world that’s conducive of fear and anger. We must be mindful and ever vigilant of this fact and be aware that there are those who will exploit our energy. Don’t let them. We must defend our energy from the mundane and ridiculous and sharpen our wits for the dangerous and insane. You must love the people you hate. Yep- that’s the key. But that doesn’t mean you have to be buddies and go bowling every Thursday. Your role is important and will likely help others in the long run. So when we see something that appears out of balance, one must take appropriate action and apply the effort necessary to tip back the scale. Sure it takes some effort. -But so does staying mad.
There’s no reason to remain angry. Set your intention on peaceful, daily cohabitation. Consider being empathic even when dealing with a terribly difficult person. You have an advantage. You can see this whole world as a stage. Any so-called adversary may not have this same reference. So you can remain above the fray of most any volatile situation and use the opportunity to impart some wisdom. No, we’re not immune to anger, but when that little red light flashes we know it’s time to pull over and cool down.
Now more than ever cool heads must prevail. There are insidious forces embarking upon the Human race. They like it when we fight each other. It takes attention away from what’s really going on. It also lowers our spiritual acuity and that is especially important to those who call the shots. Angry people might think that being loud and forceful makes them more powerful. That might work in prison. The reality is those that are perpetually angry have a little ring in their nose and can be led most anywhere. They are highly controllable and the power elite know it.
No, we’re not perfect. We are Human. And Humans are perfectly imperfect. And so that red cloud was really nothing more than a lot of hot wind and dust. It sure looked spooky from a distance. Such storms often do. It was kind of fun riding through it. Thanks for coming along.
-Until next time
About the Author
There is a certain obscurity that follows Julian Wash. After all, any writer that starts off with “Dear Humans” might be a little hard to nail down. We sense he’s benevolent, a little crazy and we think rather enjoyable to read. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
**This article was originally published at The Rattle Report.**
This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.
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