I feel I have a problem with anger. I’m aware of certain acquaintances and friends who identify with anger issues, some of whom are working on anger management with a therapist. Many of us seem to have a problem with anger, often misdirection it and hurting the most innocent and loved people in our life. This anger we feel may have developed as a result of sexual abuse, neglect, or beatings we may have experienced as children which we turned against ourselves or others in a vicious, repetitive cycle.
When I became aware of my problem with anger, I began work with my therapist to create new tools to cope with my feelings appropriately. I needed to talk about all the incidents that still tormented me. I encouraged in my sessions to get angry at those that abused me or those I felt victimized by. I learned that I was likely to go on through life being a victim until I could fight my way through those early situations. It is often necessary to give one’s self permission to vent anger as an affirmation of self-worth, and not a contradiction of all the lessons learned about being tolerant, forgiving and peace-loving.
It is quite possible to, “hate the deed and not the do-er” by separating in one’s mind, the behavior, from the person. We have the right to hate what happened to us; we have the right to be angry at people for their aggressive, hurtful acts, while being ready to forgive them as people who need love just as much as we do. If anger is held back, it will fester and come out in mean and petty ways. Anger starved will rob us of our dignity and tranquility.