So what purpose does anger serve? Is there a purpose? A good purpose? What does it do for us? A saint was once asked, “What is Anger?” His answer was “it is a punishment we give to ourself, for somebody else’s mistake.”
Anger helps keep us safe from the really yucky, uncomfortable emotions that live right beneath it. Liza Palmer said “Angry is just sad’s bodyguard.”
When someone begins to talk about how angry they are, I almost instinctively want to hand them a tissue box because the tears are generally what comes next. People work hard to keep the tears in and anger is a great protector. Because when someone’s angry, they feel strong and powerful and safe. Nothing can hurt them. Think about it. When someone’s mad with you, what’s the first thing you likely want to do? Either fix it immediately or get away as quickly as possible. Dogs are great indicators of anger. When a couple talks about fighting, and if they have a dog, the first question I ask is, “what did the dogs do?”
Anger, like all emotions, is simply just energy. And people, like all things both living an inanimate, are made of nothing but energy. We are simply tiny little molecules that are energy balls held together by more energy. WE. ARE. ENERGY.
But what happens when someone gets sick? Maybe your daughter gets a cold. Or maybe your partner pulls a muscle working out to hard. Or maybe your father gets diagnosed with cancer. What happens then for you? What do you experience? Maybe, or more accurately likely, you get mad. You get angry. You may even become furious.
Does your anger make your daughter’s cold go away? No. Does your anger make the person’s muscle heal? Nope. Does your anger make your father’s cancer go away? Absolutely not. All it does it keep you from feeling the genuine sadness and fear that the anger is masking. And as a lovely side effect, your anger may keep others away from you. People don’t generally like to be around angry people.
Ok, so what happens when you are the one that gets sick? What happens when you get angry at your nose for being runny and sneezy. Does it stop? No. What happens when you get angry at the pulled muscle? Does it suddenly heal? Nope. What happens when you get angry at the stuff growing in your body that shouldn’t be there. Does it suddenly disappear? Absolutely not. Does anger help your own healing in any way, shape, or form? The answer again is no. No f’ing way to be precise.
Being angry at one’s own body (or mind) is really a losing battle. Think of it like this. If there are two sides of you and they are at war with one another, the battle is happening inside of you. And since the parts that are battling are simply parts of you, that means that which ever side wins, part of YOU still loses. That seems like an unfortunate outcome.
I’m not suggesting to simply shrug your shoulders and say, “Oh well, I’m sick. There’s nothing I can do.” I’m also not suggesting to simply say, “Oh illness, I am so glad you’re here.” What I AM suggesting is to consider what can be learned from whatever is going on. There are messages in all circumstances, in all situations.
Learn to listen to the illness. Learn to listen to your body. You are sick or hurt or ill because you are not listening to the more subtle ques and messages your body is sharing. Maybe the message is to rest. Maybe the message is to eat better. Maybe the message is to exercise more. Or exercise less. Your body is talking to you. Stop battling with it.
Because when there is a war, there is a loser. And that’s not a fun place to be. You deserve more than that. You, yes YOU deserve to be a winner. And anger is simply not the way.
Ps…the guy in the picture destroying his desk? Is that winning? Maybe in the moment, but what is the ripple effect of it?
As Catherine Ponder says, “Forgiveness is all-powerful. Forgiveness heals all ills.”