My greatest distress at the moment is feeling that our society’s trajectory is toward the dark side with momentum giving advantage to the lowest, least compassionate, most chaotic and dangerous of attitudes and behaviors. Fear, is only one of the many reactions which trigger anger, and I find myself disabled by them all.
What Triggers Anger?
- Disappointment – Hell yes, I’m disappointed that there weren’t sufficient votes to keep a more neutral balance on the Supreme Court.
- Frustration – I’ve tried so hard to make the world a more peaceful place and those who speak angrily and in polarizing ways seem to be making headway at my expense.
- Judgement – I feel that my well-being, my voice, my safety in the streets, in my home, in my body are being judged less important than winning political advantage.
- Rejection – My value as a female continues to be under-rated, diminished, and scorned. Year after year. Decade after decade. Century after century.
- Fear – “Let’s make America great again” as currently espoused seems to imply we turn away from most everything I ever learned and prized about our country.
My inner voice chatters incessantly, “How can this be happening?” What should I do? What can I do?”
About the big picture that is shoved in our faces by the media? Truthfully, I can’t make much impact at that level. I live in a politically corrupt state in a country where dark money puts lead weights on the checks and balances that previously ensured continuity of our so called “democratic republic.” So I go deeper than what’s apparent. I will myself to say…
“Yes, this is what is at the moment, and
How can I keep the light alive?”
I reject the dark side.
It’s not easy to avoid the poisonous effects of anger. It’s a choice. A meaningful choice I recommend we all practice (till we perfect it.) In conversations with others who share my political and social beliefs, I’ll turn to my inner light when they demonize “others from across the aisle”. If we’re open-minded enough to relate neutrally with immigrants, people of different religions, and genders, then it must be the dark side triggering us to see others’ political choices as “ignorant”. I won’t join in the hate and defamation of the “in group”, because that is the nuclear button. Anger triggers and feeds an internal cascade which destroys my self composure, my health, my judgement, my very capacity to function effectively. I feel the change immediately in my throat, gut, and muscles. Survival goes to the fittest and we are the keepers of the light. We must ensure better instincts survive even under these difficult circumstances.
Anger Affects the Brain and Body
For more about the mind-body connection, select this link from the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine, the source of the two infographics above.
Give Vent to Anger by Being and Bringing the Light
Become a more powerful influence on challenging conversations. Get practical guidance from the Frameworks Institute on how to effectively use communications to reframe issues so that others will be moved.
Initiate community-building activity in your neighborhood. The key is to bring people of differing backgrounds, views, and interests together to discover their commonalities. A community garden, an Earth Day clean up project, a neighbor to neighbor help network, book club, quarterly swap meet or yard sale. We’ve done all these where I live and watched the insights and relationships grow.
Don’t give up, just give up the fight. Try this – make a tight, fighting fist. What can you do with that knot of muscle and bones? Only pound something or someone. Now relax that fighting power into an open hand. What can you do with those five flexible fingers, that unique opposable thumb? Well, yes, you can still smack some sense into someone, but you can also plant a seed, bring a creative idea to fruition, provide a caress, perform surgery…. You get the idea? There are many ways to stand up for oneself. Let’s be sure we stand in the light.