I have an anger problem.
Not the type to need anger management, I don’t think. Just a general “if you’re angry and you know it, shake your fist” kind. When I’m mad, I usually have this rule where I allow myself to stay that way. I’m mad and I want to express it and be in it. Is that okay?
We are usually taught that being angry is negative. This is understandable, since anger can cause damage to oneself and one’s surroundings. However, I argue that it’s an emotion and therefore it has the right to be expressed. It all depends on how we express it.
Sometimes blocking an emotion can block the purpose of that emotion. For example:
One day recently I realized I was pissed. I tried to fight it at first. The more I tried to calm myself down, the more pissed I got. The opposite of what I wanted was happening. Like the whole “don’t think of Johnny Depp” thing. What do you think of? Johnny Depp. Oh, wait, or is that elephants you’re not supposed to think of?
Anyway, I knew I had to go to bed and get up the next morning at what I call “Ashtanga hour”—you know, that time when you look up at the sky and the stars are yawning and saying, “Gee, you just missed us, we’re heading in”—only without any yoga following my waking. Seriously, I was moody as hell.
Allowing myself to finally go, “Aye, I’m really pissed right now! Pretty damn angry!” I went downstairs and wrote in my journal about it. Not in a super-angsty-teen way either. Just expressing myself, as I have the right to do. I got to bed a little over an hour later than I wanted to, but felt a little better and woke up feeling rested.
I mean, that’s good, since the sun wasn’t awake yet, right? I began to work on my first draft of this at 5:20 in the morning during the 15 minutes I had to eat oatmeal and put on shoes before I went to “Not Ashtanga.” I’m not even going to call it work, a job, or anything else. It’s just “Not Ashtanga” because I’m up before the sun has wiped the celestial crust from its eyes, but there’s no effing “A time,” dude.
I mean, I don’t usually get up this early, but if I did, I would not be going to work. I mean, “Not Ashtanga.” I would want some asana, some sweat and to “ohm” it up a bit before oatmeal, fruit and tea perhaps. But no, I’m going to punch in at “Not A” o’clock for 10 hours today. Winning. The Charlie Sheen way, that is.
Oh, sorry, got a little carried away there. See, anger. But a rant is harmless, and, in this case, educational! Holler at Ms. Frizzle!
My point is, all emotions are okay. All of them are up for grabs to be shared and expressed.
If I’m happy I can hum a tune or cartwheel to the front door like Gomez Adams (I wish). If I’m crazy depressed, I can listen to Sick Puppies or shed a few tears. Even emotions which are considered not appropriate or taboo due to negative connotations attached to them for whatever reason are game. If I’m mad, angry or pissed off I can stomp my feet and beat my chest King Kong style if it’s a must.
What matters is whether feelings are sat in or unleashed, and how. A pity party should only have one guest: yourself. Don’t drown others in sorrows and complaints unless they are asked for. If anger is so intense that something must be smashed, “Hulk out” on some throw pillows. When tossing things in a dumpster, make sure something breaks. Not your physical self or others, okay?
You may find that after a while, you feel better. Admitting how we feel and letting it flow for a minute can help us realize what we were getting all worked up about. Letting out that energy can allow us to move on to other things in life.
So being pissed was constructive this time. I figured out why I was angry: no “ohms,” asana or tea, and clocking in at “Not A” time. I got to get it off my chest, back and brain, and wake up to do what I love: write and share with my fellow Earth dwellers.
So if you’re angry and you know it say, “I’m pissed!” Or shake your fist! Either way, feel free to express and make something positive out of it.
Rachelle Smith Stokes, aka Writer Yogi, is just that. She is a writer of poetry, inspiration and lessons learned on her yogic journey. She lives with her husband in Dayton, Ohio, but hopes to one day share her passions for writing and yoga with those in other states and time zones. Her goal is to inspire and be inspired through her passions and connecting with others. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter or her blog.
Editor: Jayleigh Lewis