Reinterpreting Negative Experiences – Anger

When you Experience Anger, it brings an understanding of Forgiveness.

What is anger? Anger is an intense negative emotion that involves a strong hostile response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat. Anger can occur when a person feels their personal boundaries are being violated and may involve a learned (automatic) tendency to retaliate out of the need for self-protection. More specifically anger is likely used to cover up fear, hurt or sadness which leads some scholars to classify anger as a secondary emotion.

The following model explains the progression of anger I have experienced.
I experience a feeling that I interpret as negative because I don’t want that feeling.
I don’t question or attempt to get in touch with the actual feeling.
Instead, I instantly focus on what I perceive to be the cause of the feeling.
My split-second objective is to change the circumstances that caused it so the unwanted feeling will go away.
Therefore, all my energy is focused on changing what is going on outside me.
In the moment, I make no calculation as to whether I can or have the right or actual capacity to change what is outside.

The fallacy here is I think someone or something outside me caused an unwanted feeling. Since I operate on the premise that no one has the right to effect my feelings, I have the right and obligation to protect my space, my integrity. In this way, my conditioning not to tolerate certain feelings comes from my erroneous belief that I can control what happens to me and produces an instinctual reaction which come from inside, not outside of me. Had I learned an important lesson with an objective review of the situation I would recognized that I had caused my own anger and had no right to attempt to impose my will.

The alternative to reacting out of anger is forgiveness toward myself. I need to forgive myself for my internal reactive nature that does not want to accept the reality that I am the source of my feelings. I need to forgive myself for the physiological responses my body produces that make acting out on my feelings seem imperative. The increased heart rate, the release of adrenalin, the laser focus; these are the natural mechanisms necessary for the survival of our species. And, I need to forgive myself for displacing my feelings that causes me to be aggressive toward others.

To be sure, there are precipitating events to which I react and I acknowledge that there is unfairness or thoughtless behavior on the part of others. However, if I choose to be judgmental or feel the certainty of right and wrong, then I construct a perceived conflict that I must rectify. I don’t need to forgive someone else if I don’t hold them to my arbitrary standard in the first place. When I hold on to the idea that I must defend myself then the idea of being threatened defines how I view my world. I need to forgive myself for imposing my standards on someone without their knowledge and certainly without their permission.

Write about 2 or 3 situations where your anger caused a situation to become worse. Describe if you thought you had a right to be angry and how you tried to express this justification. What may have been a better way to handle the situation.

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