Anger is a primordial emotion. Evolving over multiple millennia to enhance survival, allowing Man to become Lord of the Jungle, the aggression and violence caused by anger in the modern world now
threatens safety. In attempting to protect us from threats that no longer exist, anger that rages out of control harms us and those around us.
Like an addiction, there is a rush of adrenalin and euphoria that accompanies an episode of rage, causing the ‘addict’ – the rage-a-holic – to give up control despite dire, and largely predictable, consequences. Like a train running wild on the wrong track, anger gains momentum and eventually crashes; i.e., violence and remorse.
As with any addiction, coping is obscured by denial. After an act of physical violence, the prior warning signals are amply evident. But what of the insidious effects of anger that constantly seethe without boiling over? Anger in sporadic busts, breaking something, slamming a door, shoving someone.
Some anger is even silent, simmering. Everyday interactions are interpreted as slights, criticisms, and injustice. Defaulting to anger, one might complain to fellow sufferers; but rather than expressing their needs, they give in to a sense that they are worth no better.
Identifying silent, non-violent anger is quite simple. Listen to someone talk. A snide remark here, a sarcastic slam there, a constant stream of criticism. An angry person is often unaware of these behaviors, while acquaintances either share similar anger or accept negativity as part of that person’s identity.
Sublimating anger, despite its social acceptability, is an imperfect solution. If or when the accumulated anger eventually explodes, it is typically at a time that is most inopportune and inappropriate. If it does not explode, the alternative is to implode. From an energy medicine perspective, most chronic illness and disease is attributable to anger, whether expressed or not.