This time of year is always filled with a little hope, a little cheer, a little frustration…and a little fear; and for some, a little anger.
Thankfully (sarcasm intended), this time of year is also filled with messages about people letting go of toxic people in their lives and purging negativity and “letting go of anger”. It’s almost as if it has become acceptable, even fashionable, to hate anger. It’s as if anger is the only thing that we can trace back to that explains all of the dysfunction and all of the people that we struggle with. “He made me angry” has been replaced by “You chose to get angry.” It’s your fault. You’re bad. You’re broken. Because you’re angry. But, when did anger become a negative emotion and the single emotion that we must eradicate from the face of the Earth? When did we allow ourselves to complete the mental gymnastics necessary to justify our HATE for anger?
Anger allows us to change when we allow ourselves to become angry at who we are in order to become a better version of ourselves.
Anger allows us to stand up to bullies and stand up for victims.
Anger allows us to communicate rawly and purely.
Sadly, anger also allows us to hurt others. And that, friends, is why we threw the angry baby out with the difficult to deal with bathwater.
It’s easy to just be lazy in our thought process and deem anger as a bad, negative, unworthy and inappropriate emotion. But it’s there for a reason. the Bible tells us to be slooooow to anger.
Anger instigates bravery. Anger suspends the logic that tells people to run away from a burning building; despite the victims that can be saved.
Anger allows us to run in when every fiber of our being says to run out.
And that is the best descriptor of my favorite kind of anger. Run in – even when the world is running away. For me, that applies to kids who are hurting, who’ve been hurt, who’ve been violated; and who ended up angry and, as a result, alone.
So, I choose not to hate anger as it’s not even an intelligent way to put it. I am angry at things that I see all too much of.
I am angry at the weakness in people that justifies their actions.
I am angry at the overwhelmed feeling that follows weakness.
Mostly though, I am angry when weakness and being overwhelmed allow someone to abandon their child, or their parent, or their sibling, or their friends, or themselves.
Maybe if we got stronger; more capable of handling other’s anger; we could find the strength to overcome our weaknesses. To recognized that being overwhelmed is temporary and doesn’t need to be something that we run from. And that abandoning others because we don’t agree, or because they’re angry, or because we are feeling weak, or because another’s anger triggers our weakness and we are temporarily overwhelmed by that anger and, in turn, become angry enough to leave and to run, isn’t the bravest course of action.
Maybe anger isn’t really the problem at all. Maybe weakness, overwhelm, abandonment and hate are far worse. Maybe anger, righteous and measured anger, is the anecdote to weakness, overwhelm, abandonment and hate. Maybe we can look at anger and angry people a little differently and maybe we can allow ourselves to understand a little more and judge a little less. I am not planning on purging negativity, getting rid of anyone, or letting go of anger in 2019. I plan on working every day to be stronger and to resist being overwhelmed and to abandon as few people as possible. Maybe my world will get a little better…even if I allow the anger to exist as a motivator for being stronger, less overwhelmed and better.