Thursday, June 10, 2010

Anger is not a sin- Part 1 (some thoughts on anger)

I know I'm really coming to accept this more and more in myself and I'm thankful for that. Anger doesn't have to feel so scary and dangerous (granted-we are not to be violent or harmful with it of course). Anger needs to be accepted and expressed. But more importantly, we need to accept ourselves in our anger.

Anger is just a part of life. And the more scared we are of it, the more angry we become, insidiously- quietly growing more and more angry inside. I know this all too well.
In religious circles, or dysfunctional settings, it's like the unpardonable sin to "slip into anger." By the time most people become aware of their anger in these settings, they are actually enraged (from so much repressed anger) and then this anger does indeed feel scary.... It's just such a sick cycle.  I think maybe also general anxiety is because of repressed anger. They say depression is anger turned inward.

So what's the healthy way to deal with anger? I want to explore this more... I know for women anger can be much less acceptable (because culture subtly says --"it's not woman-like or attractive for women to be angry." That's a double whammy. So more guilt can be piled on souls who need some healthy release...

There is plenty in life to be angry about. I'm not endorsing rage sprees or anything like that. But I am endorsing the reality of daily dealing with anger and frustration, and yes, even bitterness.

These days I mostly do allow myself to express my "negative" feelings, if just to myself and God...  But sometimes I still feel guilty for having such feelings. I don't know why. I do know that anything else apart from being real about where we are and what we feel eventually leads to more sickness and dysfunction/ destructiveness. So I vent my true feelings even if at first it feels wrong. (I vent them in a safe place first, not just to anybody!)  I was taught to hide the real me from an early age. It' s taking me my whole life to accept myself.... Not that I'm completely there, but getting a bit closer.

So I'm still learning....Plus I still have to contend with my moods (not to mention my hormonal moods), which CAN make me mean at times. I can get ugly and I begin to wonder what it is sometimes...? Is it repressed anger? So I allow myself to just feel what I feel and control the urge to actively hate everybody.

Can I forgive myself for letting my anger get the best of me? Can I forgive others? I can (with God's help). And I think that's the only way to move forward. A little at a time. And if there's a lot of feelings that need to be worked through, then that's alright too. There is grace for that.

1 comment:

Aida said...

Manuela, I don’t think anger is necessarily bad. It’s just an expression of how we’re feeling. As you said, we can’t let ourselves get into a violent rage but we do need to allow ourselves to feel the anger. Anger is a symptom that something is wrong. It lets us know that something needs to be dealt with. When we’ve been mistreated or someone we love has, it’s normal to be angry.

Anger can be a very positive emotion if we channel that anger correctly. Societies have changed for the better because someone used their anger to bring deliverance to the oppressed.