What’s An Anger List?

Anger is better then laughter; for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

Ecclesiastes 7:3



It’s time to bring out a negative emotion I can no longer keep safely hidden under one of my many rugs. Anger is a reaction of displeasure to an unmet expectation, demand or belief. Anger moves from its lowest level as disappointment, through to annoyance, irritation, resentment, frustration, contempt and finally into rage where there is the danger of extreme actions of violence.

Many years ago, my therapist, recognizing my limited bouquet of emotions, required me to produce an anger list. It took me days to figure out what anger was, let alone go through the ordeal of putting the list to paper.

Who me angry?

Who me angry?

Long story short, because of preconceptions and judgments I avoided anger that I believed would inevitably lead to inappropriate behavior. Instead, I chose to mask my anger in disappointment and sadness. I was stuck in a habitual behavior pattern that limited my vitality, my wisdom and my action.

Emotions are fundamental personal assets and resources to be respected and accepted in every moment. To understand ourselves, we have to look beneath our habitual patterns and face our emotions in their natural, undisguised state. They lead the way with intelligent creative energy into new forms of generosity, patience, and courage.

Anger is precious. It helps cope with adversity. Feeling and accepting all emotions including anger, encourages an authentic and compassionate response as the full expression of open hearts and minds and always starts with a list.

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