Anger: A Cover for Fear

Man, is the world angry right now! Facebook is literally going to blow up from all the infighting. I keep wanting to deactivate my account, but I can’t stop watching. I tried to post my opinion a couple of times, but “friends” jumped on it like white on rice to tell me what an idiot I am. I just decided it’s not worth it to post my opinion since even the winners are acting like a bunch of angry bees.

My reading this morning happened to be about anger. What an appropriate topic at the moment. Melody Beattie made the point that it’s okay to be angry. Anger is a very healthy emotion. It’s not healthy to be resentful. I have watched with great interest the resentment over the past 8 years on Facebook to the current administration. It was ugly, and it made me question many of my relationships with people. It had nothing to do with the fact that we had opposing political beliefs and everything to do with their inability to process anger and move through it.

Anger is toxic if it turns into resentment. I’ve been in relationships where anger was the primary emotion. I feel unsafe in those environments. In fact, I AM unsafe in those environments. Being in relationship with chronically angry people breeds imbalances in power, resentments, abuse and pain in general. Anger is a low-vibrating energy, and it lowers the vibration of everyone it touches. And anger makes you sick. It causes and fuels addictions, heart disease and a whole host of other life-shortening health issues.

But anger is a healthy emotion if processed. A counselor once told me that anger is a great signal that something is wrong. She advised me to take notice when I am angry. “When you feel that churning inside, ask yourself what you fear? Or are you hurt? Use it as a way to understand what you are feeling,” she said, “and then do something about it.” I laughed, “You mean you don’t just punch them in the face?”

Anger is a secondary emotion. It is what we go to when we feel most vulnerable. It helps us cover up victimizing feelings. When I’m angry, I feel like I’m in control. I feel like I’m “better than” or “smarter than” or superior in some way. It feels like there is a ready solution for a complex situation. That feels so much better than being afraid. And, in some instances, it protects us. If I feel angry because somebody hit me, I can get myself out of there or protect myself physically. If I just swallow my anger like I’ve done for many years, I can end up being angry at myself and internalizing it. And anger turned inward causes depression. Unprocessed anger makes us sick, too.

So I allow myself to get angry. I try not to lash out, but I do on occasion. When somebody steps on my foot, I snap back. I’m beginning to process the anger I’m feeling right now about the election. I’m fearful for our country. Even if I supported this candidate, it is big change. And change is scary. The fact that I’m a woman and felt disrespected during the course of his campaign just makes the fear bigger. That’s what is underneath my anger.

As I’ve gone through the week, I’ve talked to others that are safe, and I’ve processed my feelings. I’ve helped them process their feelings. I’ve heard a lot of f-bombs, and that’s okay.  I’m starting to feel better although the fear boils up every now and again igniting a new burst of anger. But, I’m trying to remember that God is my source of safety. And, honestly, I’ve thrived in this man’s world even though the odds were against me. It’s been easier the last administration, but I can get through it. I have an army of like-minded friends, and I plan to gather myself into their arms and move forward being who and what I am.

I have decided, though, to change the way I use Facebook. Honestly, it’s been painful to be around so much negativity during this administration and the ensuing election. I would unfollow people, but they would still jump on my posts and try to argue with me. My Facebook group is going to be much smaller. It will consist of people that truly know me and that are kind and positive regardless of their political stance. I’ve spent enough years of my life in relationship with chronically angry people, and I’m sick of it. I want to be able to speak my mind without being criticized. I have a right to my opinion.

Most people will work through their anger/fear, and others will continue to seeth for years. I just don’t want to be in that space. If there’s something to be fearful of, I can only deal with it when it happens anyway. I’ll just surround myself with the safety that I desire and continue to walk my path. It’s the only thing I know to do until something better presents itself.

 

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