Anger has always been my main trigger although over time and through my practice its occurrence has decreased and it has become easier to not be so consumed by it. When anger hits, it’s a fiery energy sizzling deep within and then suddenly rising within my being asking for it to be released. The point of release is crucial because when we swallow this emotion it is stored in our body and slowly eats away at us, potentially bringing us physical disharmony until we are willing to look at it again. A quote by Mary Burmeister resonates deeply here:
“Anger is a destructive force, which separates the body from the soul.”
The other day, while out walking, I was triggered by a text message that really pushed my buttons. As I continued to walk, I felt the rage getting louder and louder. I felt the need to really allow this emotion to pass through me so I decided to listen to some unsettling rock music to intensify this emotion and walk it off. As much as I wanted to express my frustration, I also consciously gave myself the time limit of the duration of the walk to be angry. Once I got back home I had to have returned to my centred and calm state of being. So I went for an extra long walk. With every step I let the earth know I was unhappy. During this process I continued to observe myself and how this emotion began to take control of every part of me. I felt like I had two separate identities, my angry-self feeling sorry for myself and the person walking through the most beautiful surroundings on a sunny spring day.
This is how I felt the truth of that quote. This feeling of separation from my soul, my connection to the Light. In this state I was unable to clearly see the path in front of me. It was only when I arrived at the beach at the end of my walk, I sat down and took notice of the magnificence around me. I focused on my breathing while observing the waves, the different hues of blue sparkling in the sun, listening to the joyful bird song and smelling wild fennel beneath my feet. Through the breath and the connection to my senses I eventually came back to my centre. In this way I was able to release and let go.
In my personal commitment to live a harmonious life and be present in each moment, this was certainly an eye-opening experience. Anger can be a gift when we apply awareness and continue to observe ourselves. There is a very fine line between falling victim to this disruptive force, or using it to learn about yourself and then moving on. I have discovered that anger may indeed facilitate a creative opening, which is why I felt inspired to write this post.
This experience emphasizes how important it is to cultivate a practice that strengthens our consciousness in everyday life. We need to practice during the good times so we can fall back on it when life gets challenging. Only consciousness allows us to detach ourselves from an uncomfortable situation or emotional trigger.
Why detach yourself? Because in the state of rage the only person hurting is yourself. No one can transform an emotion for you, but you have the freedom to choose how to feel in each moment. What I know for sure is that when we feel most vulnerable or lost, is our real invitation to make a choice: stay in the darkness or choose the light.