Anger and Desire

I woke up this morning thinking about anger, that powerful boundary-protecting emotion that I have only recently started to befriend.  And here is what became crystal clear to me: Anger is a window into our desire.  We wouldn't get angry if we didn't care.

Anger rails against feeling victimized,  against being told (with or without words) that we or the people or things we hold dear don't matter, that the person or situation we are encountering is more powerful than we are, and that there is nothing we can do about it.

The "antidote" to anger? Own your power -- and responsibility -- to shape the situation in a direction you want. Hear yourself saying: "I matter." "What I want matters." "I want this." "I don't want that." "And I have the power to make choices in my life regardless of what you throw at me." "I will not be a victim!"

By contrast, unhealthy responses to anger either send the message that "You (the other person) don't matter", in the case of attacking or blaming someone else, or " I don't matter," in the case of denying the emotion and becoming a martyr. Either way, those responses end up leading to MORE anger (either projected or internalized) because it's that sense of not mattering that anger comes to defend in the first place.

We need to know that is is okay to want things! And also come to terms with the real challenge, which is that we often want many conflicting things simultaneously, and it is impossible to have it all. Being an adult means that we have to make decisions about what we want most, given that neither we nor anyone else will ever be perfect.

What values do you want to embody? What kind of impact do you want to have on the world? How do you most want to feel about yourself and the people around you? If you're not sure, start paying attention to your anger.  It has your answers.