Oh anger, you’re just something else, aren’t you? Honest, real, and protective at best. Righteous, rageful, and destructive at worst.
The human condition is programmed for anger. When you were a baby you fiercely cried and when you were a toddler you freaked. As an adult if you or a loved one were violated tomorrow, you would experience anger. No one is exempt.
So we’re all left with the intense job of figuring out how to “manage” our anger…in a society that shames it.
I feel like I’ve tried every way under the sun to pacify my own anger. From self-medicating to meditating, therapizing to expressing, and everything in between.
After twenty somethin’ years of experiencing and studying my anger, I vividly see:
- how ineffective the path of anger generally is
- my anger is here to stay. It’s truly part of my design in this life.
Since suppressing and expressing anger have proven to be dead end roads, I would like to propose this alternative: how about making anger divine?
Here’s an example of how it works:
I was about to board a plane and I was feeling depleted. If I am ignoring something that is bothering me, feeling tired is when the truth always surfaces. So as I am sitting there waiting for my section to be called, angry thoughts of a recent event began to bubble.
In a moment of intuition I knew I had a choice – I could spend the next few hours on the plane swirling in anger or I could figure out a way to make it sacred.
So I whipped out a piece of paper and at the very top I wrote “THIS IS DIVINE”, (so when the inevitable shame about my anger arose I would remember that it was holy.)
I then scanned my body for where I was feeling the anger and I noticed my lower back felt clenched.
I then imagined what these sensations would say if they could speak, and whatever popped up in my head I wrote down on the paper.
I kept going with this recipe: I felt and wrote, and felt and wrote, as the anger moved through different areas of my body.
I did this for an hour, through a handful of tender and weepy moments, until my body felt sublimely, utterly, and completely peaceful.
On my piece of paper however, it was pretty ugly. Mean. Vicious. Harsh. All sorts of terrible words were sprawled across the page with underlines, capitalizations, and exclamations.
Though within all the ugliness it was also full of beauty. It was beautiful because it was honored. It was beautiful because it was safe. It was beautiful because it wasn’t inside me anymore, eating away at me. It was beautiful because it wasn’t directed toward anyone. That dark ball of anger was perfectly content to be in the loving arms of that piece of paper.
Then upon arriving home, I offered up the paper via a simple ritual.
In my backyard I have a special place for burning things (metal paint can with some sand in it.) I crumpled the paper, lit a match, and recited “Please show me the way to a peace” over and over as I brought flame and paper together and watched it burn.
I ended the ritual with the Making Miracles visualization for myself and the perceived source of my anger.
Here is a re-cap in eight easy steps:
- I was aware that angry thoughts were bubbling in my head (awareness is huge)
- I took out a piece of paper and wrote “THIS IS DIVINE” at the top
- I felt my body
- I imagined what the sensations in my body would say if they could speak
- I wrote down whatever came to my imagination
- I did steps 3,4, & 5 until I felt completely peaceful
- I then burned the paper while reciting “Please show me the way to peace”
- I ended by doing an unconditional loving-kindness meditation for myself and the perceived source of my anger
Rinse & repeat, as needed.
If you feel inspired to check this ritual out, do it exactly as I did the first time. Then based on how it feels when your done you can modify it.
And yes, you can do this process for ANY emotion and I highly recommend it.