Embracing anger

“Cooling the Flame II” by Kimby Faires

In my last post I mentioned that we have a tendency to fear “negative” emotions.

I had a bit of a personal revelation around this very thing not long ago. I had always judged anger to be bad, both in myself and in others. I was comfortable with sadness but not with anger.

Anger to me was always scary. I was scared of it in others because I didn’t understand that it had nothing to do with me.

Someone else’s anger may’ve been directed at me, but it wasn’t my fault that they were angry. Not to say that I didn’t do something to make that person mad, I’m sure that I did. But I didn’t understand that I wasn’t responsible for their anger. I was responsible for whatever mistake I made that made them mad but not for their anger. And I didn’t understand that their anger wasn’t really at me. Anger is less of an emotion than it is a reaction; it’s the result of fear. It’s a defense mechanism. It’s internal. It really has very little to do with the other person.

I was also scared of anger in myself because I was afraid that it owned me, that it meant that I wasn’t in control.

I didn’t understand where all of that anger was coming from or how to manage it. I didn’t understand that it was the result of my own fear. My anger is often my fear of failure, my fear of not being heard, of being inconsequential, of being judged by others, and of not being good enough.

I’ve come to realize that it’s not about not being angry, it’s about not being afraid.

As I’ve come to understand all this better, anger no longer scares me. I know now that anger is just an emotion. A reaction. Part of being human. It doesn’t mean that I am bad or that anyone else is bad.

It’s okay to get angry sometimes, but there are certainly less than ideal ways to express ones anger and that’s the hard part. It’s not the emotion itself that causes problems as much as the negative things that are done in the expression of anger. But the more we suppress it the more it builds up and the harder it becomes to control. For me, anger management isn’t about not getting angry. It’s about not acting on my anger.

“That’s my secret Captain, I’m always angry”

I learned that the power is not in the emotion itself but in how we react to it. That’s where we have a choice. This is where I’m still doing a lot of work.

I’m prone to angry outbursts but I am working really hard to not take my anger out on those around me. My process is acknowledging the anger, allowing myself to feel it, understanding what it is and where it’s coming from – that takes the power away from it giving me an opportunity to take a deep breath and then not unleash it on others. It’s definitely still a work in progress.

I’m not perfect, and I’m not trying to be – but I am trying to be better. Not better than anyone else, just better than I was yesterday. Being better no longer means trying to never get mad.  It means looking my anger in the face, embracing it and letting it go.

3 responses to “Embracing anger

  • Faires Fine Art

    Well said Mara! I can totally relate. One of the most crucial concepts I have learned, as I work on myself, is not to take things personally. I honestly try not to personalize much of anything because 99.999% of the time, it is simply NOT about me. The other concept which I have adopted is that the ONLY thing that I have ANY control over is myself and my perceptions and my reactions to situations, other people, circumstances, etc. It is obvious to me that you are doing a lot of work on your inner self. It can be a bumpy, painful ride; however, the results are SOOOOO…..worth the pain and hard work. I am proud of you for taking these steps. It is a most worthwhile endeavor. Keep it up!

    Thank you so much for being so respectful to me about my artwork. I am touched and grateful that you thought enough of my work to post it on your blog. I wish you the best of luck with your blog. I started mine last April and it has become an AMAZING process for me. I have started to become friends with people all over the world. It was initially a little slow going; however, things are really picking up. To date, I have had people in over 50 countries around the world view my art blog. Crazy! Not that I blog for this reason, but it is still a trip. It allows me to share my art with the world at large. Blogging also keeps me accountable. I have a lot of people whom regularly follow my blog….so they have come to expect, and look forward to, regular postings from me. If I am ever feeling a creative slump or feel lazy and don’t want to blog….I just think about all the loyal followers I have and SNAP! I suddenly begin to paint, or write, or take photographs to share with my fellow bloggers. It is a really amazing process and I cannot say enough positive things about blogging.

    I have decided to be a follower of your blog…..so then YOU now have to be accountable (not that you weren’t already)! Lol! I wish you the very best and I look very forward to reading more of your posts.

    Thanks again and have a super day!


    k i m b y

    • perfectlyamiss

      I’m honored to have you following Kimby! I look forward to having you along, I could definitely use a bit more accountability!! 😉

      Thank you so much for allowing me to share your art, I only wish that I had more followers with whom to share it. I find that I keep coming back just to stare at the image of the flames, they are so soothing.

      • Faires Fine Art

        That makes me happy that you enjoy my painting. You are the reason why I paint. If my art can move someone than that is both fulfilling and an indicator of true success. Unfortunately, the original of that painting has been sold; however, you can buy a high quality print of it on my site at Fine Art America: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/cooling-the-flame-ii-kimby-faires.html You can buy affordable copies of it in print, canvas, or metal forms OR if you are watching your budget you could just buy the painting in the form of a greeting card for under $5 and put it in a cool frame. I have done this with artwork that I love but cannot afford the original or a print. It looks great in a frame and no one will ever know that it is a greeting card. Just something for you to think about.:) Hope you are well and I look forward to reading more of your posts. xo kimby

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