Is There A Healthy Expression Anger? Of / by Sue Dumais
AT FORTY FIVE MAGAZINE /15 We learn how to hate just the same way we learn how to love. While love is our natural state, our environment and external programming determine how we deal with our negative emotions as well as our capacity to love. Nelson Mandela said, "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite." Anger, resentment, rage, and hatred are blocks to love. Negative emotions come with a lot of judgment or a fear of judgment. Many people do not know how to process these heavy negative emotions. Even those who have fits of rage and outwardly express hate are doing so because that is part of their learned programming, but also because they don’t know how to process their own negative emotions in a healthy way. Before I explain how we can process this long-held accumulation of negative emotions, I would like to explain the idea of healthy and unhealthy expressions of anger. When I was a child, I was taught that anger was bad—to be angry was to be violent. While I never experienced any physical violence in my own home, I grew to believe that anger equaled violence. My interpretation of that falsehood was that anger was unacceptable and shouldn’t be outwardly expressed. I learned to hold it in and bury it deep inside. I learned to bite my tongue and swallow that bitter pill of resentment. These heavy emotions are becoming harder to hide, contain within, and keep at bay. It is as though a bubbling volcano is ready to erupt. In fact, many people process anger that way. Unexpressed anger becomes a cesspool of resentment, which eventually becomes a bout of rage. Eventually, the volcano needs to erupt. When something happens in our environment that bumps up against our accumulated boiling cesspool of unexpressed feelings, it causes us to blow up. Instead of feeling our own unexpressed feelings, we project them out into the world and cast our anger out as words and/or violence. "Unexpressed anger becomes a cesspool of resentment, which eventually becomes a bout of rage."
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