Spirit of Unity

When Anger Strikes 



Blessings to You!
 When was the last time you were angry? For most of us, anger can almost be a daily or weekly experience. It could be from something a loved one says or does, or a story in the news, or...well...the number of reasons that we experience anger are innumerable. It is not the anger itself that is important. What is important is what we do with it.

Many people, especially women and those who are striving to walk a Spiritual path, think that anger is "bad," and that we should not get angry. Actually, anger is both an emotion and a physical experience. Is a part of our human nature.

Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, said anger poisons the blood with toxins. He said that many decades ago, before scientists were talking about the fight-flight instinct and adrenaline. To pretend we are not angry when we are, is to create a toxic festering wound in our consciousness.

Ephesians 4:26 tells us, "Be angry, but sin not. Take your anger to your own bed and meditate on it." Another translation instructs us to not let the sun go down on our anger. What a relief it was for me when I first read those passages, and understood that the anger itself was not a "sin." In fact many times it is completely valid.

I can't tell you how many times someone has told me to detach and just get over it. While this may absolutely metaphysically correct, I don't know that I can say most of us are "there" yet.

Lots of folks point to Buddhist monks, who are said to be masters of detaching. However, in an interview, the Dali Lama was asked if he ever got angry. This is his response: "Oh, yes, of course. I'm a human being. Generally speaking, if a human being never shows anger, then I think something's wrong. He's not right in the brain."

So what are we to do? First of all, we acknowledge our anger, and not try to ignore or stifle it. If negative thoughts and feelings have shot adrenaline through our veins, it's time to detox! We need some time to process. There are many ways to do this. One of the most important ways is to look at the cause behind the effect; to see it in a principle-centered light.

Let's say you get a speeding ticket. That can easily get the emotions going (emotion...e-motion...energy in motion). We ask ourselves, "Why did I get a speeding ticket? (effect)" You were speeding (cause). This is principle, not personal. This is the teachable moment where you can learn a valuable lesson, that speeding can cause tickets, and stop speeding.

I have also read that anger is frustration at our inability to make someone do what we want them to do. That's something to ponder!

Chances are, even with the realization, the e-motions are still coursing through your mind and body. This is where you need to stop venturing into victim thinking or self-condemnation, and give yourself time to neutralize.

This might be seen by some as sulking, while in reality, you are going through a detox. You can also process by talking to a friend who will speak the Truth to you with love, not support you in your error. Or you can go to a movie and get lost in another world for a couple of hours.

It is also important to remember this when someone is angry with you. Let them process. Give them space.

Here is a great prayer to help to process one's anger:

The Serenity Prayer:

Oh God, Grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,  
The Courage to change the things I can, 
                 And the Wisdom, to know which is which.

As you start to get centered, you may find that the anger does not want to let go. Once you are strong enough, remind yourself of the words of Jesus: "What is that to you? Follow me!"

Rev. Alicia Leslie
Spirit of Unity

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