Does anger have a purpose beyond letting us vent and expel built up negative vibrations?
Yes it serves many purposes. For example when we feel wronged and are not expressing our truth. Or when our true feelings are not acknowledged, then anger can begin to manifest as a signpost.
When we have not responded in the most appropriate way to a situation and we are feeling guilty as a result, then anger can be a pointer to that. It can be a guide to remind us to let go of the guilty feeling and instead choose to learn the lesson in the situation.
If we are taking on others' causes for them and not allowing them to learn the lessons of unhelpful choices or behaviour, then anger can show up - as we secretly resent them for not standing up for themselves. Whatever the trigger, anger is only a side effect not the real issue at hand. As it states in the Course in Miracles:
"There are only two real emotions. Love and Fear."
When we are not in a space of love then we are in a space of fear. This fear can manifest in many different forms, including anger, but whatever the negative emotion, at its root is always fear.
Often we try to avoid the emotions that feel heavy or draining. This is understandable. But if we're willing to be more aware, then we can spot these emotions in their infancy. We can address them long before they build up to their full-intensity expression.
In the case of anger it may start as mild irritation. Catch it at this stage, and you can then discover its message. It may be asking of you:
What aren't you paying attention to? What situation, person or circumstance has generated fear within you?
Identify and deal with those questions. Make a commitment to answer them, either in the moment or at the end of the day.
There are a number of 'venting tools' available. One of my favourites is Conscious Venting. This is venting with a purpose and an agenda! You know that you're venting to actively release energy rather than just believing in the thoughts attached to your irritation or anger.
You can consciously vent by writing - either stream of consciousness writing, that is, letting the words flow without any kind of censorship and then burning the paper afterwards to purify the energy. Or you can vent by talking aloud. (This is one I use a lot.)
I speak aloud to profound love as I call it, or to life itself. Choose your version of a higher power. I let it know how irritated, pissed off and annoyed I am. I let it know how hurt I feel. I don't really tend to focus on a person, because then it's not really conscious venting, it's just venting! Which can leave you stuck in your angry emotions.
I affirm to life or profound love that I know my worth. I know I deserve better. I claim that life now resolves the situation in ways that feel good. I thank myself for being willing to take care of myself and I feel peace descending.
Acknowledge The Emotion, See The Build Up
Whichever 'technique' you use, the first thing to do is Acknowledge the emotion you're feeling. So first you feel irritation. If you don't deal with your emotion at this stage, then it will turn into frustration. So now you have irritation mixed with frustration energies, running through your body.
You'll probably feel your energy generally, becoming more dense. Yet for whatever reason, you may still try to ignore the building emotions. That is not necessary, address the emotions, even if only by taking note of them silently, in your mind.
Acknowledge them, and state that you will honour the emotions fully, when you can. You're not ignoring them, you're just stating, I hear you, but can address your right now. You'll then find that the emotional intensity will stabilise. Thus you have given yourself the space and time you need to process them effectively.
Irritation, frustration and fear combine to create an explosion.
If you still haven't caught or addressed the emotions at this stage then voila! They're usually going to be expressed negatively. Irritation, frustration and fear combine to create an explosion. That is, your anger rises and begins to express itself. It is an energy release. If that is the case. Bless this situation, for the explosion (even with negative consequences) brings you back to point zero.
Now you have release that energy build up, you're free to choose differently, chose again. You can reconnect to a more balanced feeling. You can envision a new outcome, where the anger-inducing situation resolves itself perfectly. Know that there is always the opportunity to choose and then choose again in every moment.
Anger at its core is teaching us to choose to be aware of our thoughts and feelings. It can cause us to choose how we respond to ANY situation in our lives, no matter how potentially negative that situation may be. But until we learn to choose a different emotion then anger will be our challenger, and will cause havoc if we let it express unchecked. It can also be our ally. It's role? To help us to step in to greater awareness, greater self-honouring.
Righteous anger can be a powerful catalyst for change. Especially if we're being emotionally or physically abused. Righteous anger can be a powerful tool. For example:
NO MORE! I WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT THIS SITUATION!
Yet even righteous anger can be caught at righteous irritation, or righteous frustration! Either way the same techniques apply. Yes, you can explode at a specific person or persons, or you can choose conscious venting. In this way you can let righteous anger be the fuel that allows you to move on from a unhealthy life situation.
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