There’s no need to fight. Why find fault with another? It’s really only something inside yourself that keeps you dissatisfied and angry. Go inward. Sit quietly and face the truth within yourself. It’s really the only way to resolve conflict. Face yourself. Know yourself. And with compassion and kindness find a resolution that works for you. You may not have everything you want. You may not be able to have what you desire, but on the road to resolution some things have to be left behind; something has to be sacrificed. There’s always another rainbow, another light, another love, another life. You can change if you give yourself the opportunity. Rather than engage in self-pity, engage in self-confidence and self-motivation. Rather than fight, give yourself a fighting chance, but do it honestly and with integrity. You matter that much.
I am with a person who is angry, her anger like a brittle encrusted shell. I note how grumpy she is, having overslept, and now she is angry at the world. Nothing is right. In everyone there is something to criticize. In every situation there is something to be angry about. In every idea there is something to condescend to. Every attempt to be positive is negatively dismissed.
During my time with her, I wonder if I should say something, as her anger becomes increasingly uncomfortable to those around her. The Buddhists say that one should not interfere with another’s process in life, that everything they encounter is necessary for them to encounter, even if one sees the foreshadowing of great difficulty or even death. It is not right to alter another’s path. I also know that we cannot tell another what is so clear to us, for they will not get it until they are ready and, as the Buddhists point out, this may take many lifetimes. I encountered my own states of anger, denial, and unawareness, during my recapitulation, as I wondered over and over again why I had never been able before to understand my own psyche and what it was trying to tell me. It was only then that I understood what it means to be ready to face ourselves and our deeper issues. And so I elect to study this angry woman instead of saying anything to her.
I see how she holds her anger back, keeps it under her hard shell, but there comes a point when she just can’t retain it any longer. Suddenly, she lets loose a barrage of angry words, stunningly harsh and mean, directed at a person whom has asked a simple caring question. Again, I want to point out to this angry woman that she is being inappropriate, that she is hurting the other person, yet I hold back, for I know that my pointing out her mood will have no effect, and may perhaps incite yet more anger. I also know that there is something to be learned in such a situation, for all involved.
As I observe this angry woman, it becomes very clear that her anger has nothing to do with the person she spews it at, but that it has only to do with what is brewing and stewing inside her. Projection is clearly illustrated here. This woman woke up angry. Perhaps she went to bed angry too. Perhaps she has always been angry. But what is so clear to me, as I observe her, is that she is blaming people and situations outside of her. They are making her angry! She even says this to me later: how angry such people make her, how angry such ideas make her, how angry certain platitudes make her.
Later, as I ponder my time with this woman, as I again feel her anger boiling inside her, I wonder how long she will allow herself to be controlled by this fire within. For I saw how it consumed her, as she was unable to enjoy a moment of reality. Encased in it, everything just made her angrier. She fed this fire within constantly, giving it enough fuel to last a long time, and yet she confessed to me how tired she was.
It was clear that she desperately needed something to shift her out of this fire zone that she had parked herself in, yet I knew I could offer nothing. I am sure she was receiving many signs that might help in that shift, yet so consumed by the flames was she that she could not see. She could not see offers of kindness, she could not hear words of concern, she could not accept gentleness. Nothing that was offered was going to change how she interpreted the world, or how she projected her inadequacies onto the world, and the people she encountered there. Until she was ready…
She has to be ready to withdraw her projections from the world and face the angry fires within, and find out why she is being consumed in this manner. She has to ask herself why she is so angry all the time, why so rude and condescending, why so unhappy. Just as we all must do, at some point in our earthly existence, she too has to ask herself when she is going to stop blaming everyone else for her misery and face the reasons for it within. When she is ready…
And so, I too, must ask myself to find that angry woman inside myself and find out what she has to tell me. I do a little inner work around this angry woman as I go about the rest of my day. I find that my angry inner woman is pretty well known at this point. I’ve dealt with her many times over the years, dismantled her bonfires over and over again, put out the flames, and taken her aside to have a chat. I could only do that when I was ready, when I no longer wanted to be ruled by her, when I no longer wanted the world to be a place of fear and misery. And when I was finally ready to take back my projections, the world did change.
And so yesterday, as I did my angry woman inner work, I discovered that she has softened to a mere inkling of her old self. She carries very little fuel these days, for she has learned over the years of deep inner work that anger is nothing, that it only exists when fueled. Instead, I have learned to face the fires of anger as they flare up and question them on a deeply personal level. Is this anger justified? Does it help me? Is it worthwhile, does it help my evolution as a spiritual being? Is anger ever appropriate?
In the past I have used anger, a good friend to me at one time. It often helped to shift out of a bad situation, as I would get angry at myself for staying stuck. And so I can truly say that anger can be useful, but only if utilized on the self in a positive fashion, not to remain stuck in blame, but to catapult to a new place along the path of life. If directed outwardly, in projection, as the angry woman in my encounter used it, it does nothing positive, for anger burns up good energy, keeps the focus on blaming others rather than asking the self to be a fully responsible evolutionary being.
What I finally found out about myself yesterday, as I faced that old angry woman inside me, now shrunk to the size of a teeny tiny specimen of her old self, was that she has very little to complain about these days. In fact, I turned to her and told her that I didn’t need her anymore at all, that I only want to live and embrace the life that she held me back from fully living and enjoying for so long.
As I took back my projections and used my energy to learn how to live the life I had decided could never happen—because I was too angry at the world to engage it—I changed, life changed, the world outside of me changed, inner and outer reality changed. Now my energy is my own, and freed of old issues, such as anger, that energy just wants to live! I am no longer willing to be held back. This is what I encourage my children and those closest to me: Don’t let your fears or your anger hold you back. You are alive now and there is so much to explore and experience. Find out who you are and don’t ever hold that true self back. Live!
I see anger rising across America, falsely taking its place in the minds of so many. As we go into the next month of preparation for big changes in our country, and the world, perhaps we should all look within and find out what makes us so angry without. In so using our anger and our energy differently, we may impact the results of the election.
As the Buddhists say, all energy is interconnected and every decision we make about how we use our energy affects everything and everyone else around us. If our energy is directed at changing ourselves, we change our reality—our personal present life and that of our world. I did it—in recapitulating my childhood—and it worked and continues to work for me.
Now I intend that my inner work energetically impact the world outside of me as well. I may not be able to directly influence every angry person I meet, but I sure as heck can rev up my energetic intent to do so!
I’ve set my intent to live totally unafraid, open to life in a different way, energetically connected.
I feel the energy of the movement that is now upon us. The media, after weeks of pretending nothing was happening, has finally picked up on the fact that a lot of people have gotten together in a very powerful way. The media eventually picks up on everything. But the media also attaches labels to things, whether they are accurate or not. In this case the media is reporting that we’re angry, and that does seem to be the truth of this Occupy Wall Street and Everything Else movement. We’re expressing our discontent and the media is taking up the cry: We’re angry!
The media machine has been telling us things about how we feel for years. For the past ten years they’ve been telling us that we’re afraid. Acknowledging that fear has led to taking security measures, and taking security precautions has led to more fear. So we became a nervous nation. We wanted something to take care of our anxiety. We looked for things to alleviate the fears. Enter the media again. They tell us not only that we are overweight, depressed, and stressed out but that we need to take drugs to temper the effects of our fears. Enter the drug companies. Now we are a nation of drug takers. There is a drug for every imaginable fear, real or otherwise. In essence we’ve become a lazy nation dependent on synthetic means of achieving security. But the truth is that we’ve been passively accepting what we’ve been fed and we’ve been lapping up the stuff for years now. However, if we listen to what is being said now, not just by the media but by everyone else, we discover that truthfully we are actually very angry.
Anger is a great catalyst. It can wake us up, shake us up, and make us take action, which is what is happening now. But I’m a little worried about where this is taking us and just what it is that we’re really so angry about. The obvious anger, what is driving this movement, is of course true: we are angry at the few who have made the decisions, taken over our country and left the rest of us to grovel in the dust while they enjoy the riches they have reaped. My own fear, however, is that this movement will collapse, that the opportunity to truly become ONE mass movement will fall into blaming and kneejerk retaliation.
In using anger as a catalyst we must question again and again why we are so angry. Are we really, each one of us angry at the 1%? Yes, we are. But where does our personal anger lie? Are we not also angry that we let things get this far? Are we not angry that we have been asleep, drugged and numbed, for the past ten years or longer? Are we angry at ourselves for not speaking out sooner, even though we saw where this nation was heading?
There have been many cries to wake up. One of the most significant was Al Gore’s cry in 2006 when he made his film An Inconvenient Truth. It too was a cry to get angry, to change the world before it was too late. Many of us heeded the cry, changed our ways, became skeptical of what the media was saying, began paying more attention, questioning everything. Many of us have been questioning authority our entire lives. Now a new generation, adept at interconnectedness like no other generation before it—except perhaps their parent’s generation, those of us who grew up in the 1960s and 70s—is taking up the baton that Al Gore handed them a few years ago. They are the next step in the energy of change that has been brewing for years. They are telling us that it’s not bad to be uncomfortable, that it’s not bad to protest, that it’s not a bad thing to say that we disagree and that we want things to be different.
When I study the stories and pictures that are coming out of the Occupy Wall Street movement I see an intelligent generation and nation of people of all ages that understands the truth of where we are. But I also see and hear a lot of blame and anger directed at those who are equally part of this awakening, no more responsible than we each are. For we would not be awakening in anger had we not gotten into the place we now find ourselves in by the choices we’ve all made along the way. I fear that this anger directed at others will keep us from acknowledging our deeper human truth: that we are all the same. We must not separate ourselves in our anger. We must not be afraid of each other. We must shed our labels and become one human movement without labels, borderless and angry in the right way.
And to me, this is the most important next step: to progress in the right way. We are indeed on the verge of progress, but nothing will come of it, on a mass scale, if we don’t question ourselves more deeply. We must face the 1% within that has allowed each one of us to get into the position we are in now. We must use our anger to turn our individual lives around by looking for the pessimist, the terrorist, the blamer, the addict, the narcissist, and the greedy one within. We must constantly ask ourselves what we are personally so angry about. Just as we confront others and demand accountability, we must accept the personal decisions that got us to this point in our own lives. Just as the Occupy movement is challenging us to join the mass energy of change, we must actually change personally, for the whole is no greater than the sum of its parts.
Most of the truths that Al Gore pointed out still remain unattended and unresolved. We must personally face the same truths within ourselves and question our personal motivation to change. What have we personally done to change ourselves over the past ten years?
I do believe that we have made great progress. As a nation, we dared to elect Barack Obama president. We said: here is a man to carry our hope. But we must realize that until we take action on our own behalf all he will be able to do is carry that hope for us, dashed or otherwise. We must not be disappointed in our elected officials, no matter who they are because, as I see it, they carry the conflict and discontent of this entire nation. We have assigned them the roles they play. Now it’s up to us to take it to the next level, just as it’s up to us to take our personal journeys to the next level.
That being said, the social media, the interconnectedness that we now have at our fingertips is absolutely the power of the people. Yes, it might be power that is fueled by anger, but let’s make it power fueled by our universal oneness as well. Our basic human goodness must fuel us now, for ourselves, our nation, and the world.