They said it again.
A ripple of rage runs up your chest like a misplaced hamster.
Then it spreads to your neck and arms. Your eyes dilate like you just took a lick of meth. You could crush a skull right now.
Or maybe you’re angry at yourself again. You keep doing it, and you said you wouldn’t, and now here you are feeling stupid. You could happily throw the table across the room.
Here’s the thing about anger:
Regardless of where you think you might have picked up your rage, what we’re seeing when you feel angry is a response to a thought.
You don’t need to dive into your past and make friends with your inner child to move past anger.
Anger is simply an angry thought arising in the moment and acted on right now. And so, when we experience anger frequently, we’re seeing a pattern of thinking.
Something that returns.
Over and over.
Anger is, in this way, a habit. It has nothing to do with you as a person.
You are not an angry person, so quit thinking that shit.
You have angry thoughts to which you’ve gotten into the habit of responding. You never take a breath. You don’t create a sacred gap between the irritating vision in your mind’s eye and your compulsion to slam fists and yell.
When we see that the emotion of anger is the flip side of an angry thought, we’re a step closer to something magical.
A particular kind of control is within reach again.
We’re the ones directing the show.
Not your irritating housemate.
Not the dog who won’t stop barking. Not the impending bill.
We can choose to breathe and let go if the anger doesn’t serve.
Or we can use it.
We can transmogrify into the battle-hardened outline of a warrior with a lust for blood.
Using anger in the form of positive aggression isn’t something many psychologists or gurus often talk about.