Anger is a fascinating emotion. It never appears within our experience without a ‘reason’. This ‘reason’ is the upwelling of a pre-cursor emotion. This pertinent fact gives incredible insight into anger’s true nature.
The pre-cursor to anger can be any emotion. Jealousy, sadness, even joy and excitement can spark anger. What causes all of these emotions to trigger the rise of anger is our desire to control our experience, our desire to not feel whichever emotion is currently there.
As you practice yoga and meditation, the witness conscious becomes stronger. As a result while you are in the midst of an argument or other anger-inducing situation, you are able to clearly see how your anger actually comes to be. As you watch the anger’s rise, you will see that it is your ‘negative’ judgement of your situation, your ‘negative’ judgement of the emotions that arise in the situation, that causes you to become frustrated and thus angry.
One of the main goals of the Yogic Path, is to release you attachment and aversion to all things. Releasing your attachments and aversions allows you to gain the ability to see every experience without judgement. You experience without the desire to either change the experience, or hold on to the experience. This non-attachment means that the secondary emotion of anger, is never triggered. For if there is no preference at play within the experience you are having, there is no frustration, hurt, over over-excitement for example, and thus there is no anger.
As a result of understanding the true nature of anger, it becomes a tool. Whenever you see anger arise either within yourself, or within another, understand that what you are seeing is the frustration of losing perceived control of the experience. This is very helpful with dealing with someone when they are the angry party. But if you are the angry one, it is very helpful in allowing you to identify your attachment and aversion and thus to get to the root cause of the reaction. At times, you may need to step away from the situation in order to see clearly. Anger therefore, also points to a need for space to gain see clearly again.
The more you identify your attachments and aversions, and the more you consciously work to release them, the less you will see anger present itself in your relationships with individuals and with the world as a whole. Life as a whole will become easier as your resistance to it gifts lessen considerably. And you will find that it is a very peaceful place to be.
The Yogic Way®
Kavita Maharaj is the owner of Red Door Yoga® and the director of The Red Door Yoga School® in Lantzville. She can be reached at 250-390-9367 or through www.reddooryoga.ca for questions.