The Wisdom of Anger – The Emily Dahl Foundation

The Wisdom of Anger

It is easy to find headline stories about anger. 

Wars, accidental deaths, and even airport scuffles dominate the news.

This is just one of the Canadian headlines today (and there are many others):

"Airline workers face insults, physical threats as passenger frustration boils over..."

It is important to understand that anger can never remove anger; anger can only promote more anger. This is why it is such an important topic, particularly in a world that all too often acts from a position of anger, without pondering its consequences, or addressing root causes in order to not perpetuate it.  

Below are some easy-to-access takeaways on the roots of anger.

We carry the seed of anger inside us.

If you know what the real roots of your anger are, you can also transform your anger. At first you think that your anger has been caused by the one outside, that something he said or did caused your anger. You don’t know that the main cause of your anger is the seed of anger in you.

Other people, when they hear such a thing or they see such a thing, they don’t get angry like you, because the seed of anger in them is smaller. The seed of anger in you is very big; that is why you get angry so easily.

The first thing we can do is accept that the main cause of our anger is the seed of it inside us. Then we must realise that if we don’t deal with our anger, it will spill over and hurt others.

It’s also important to help, rather than punish those who are angry.

When someone is angry, he suffers, she suffers. Because she doesn’t know how to handle the energy of anger, she makes people around her suffer, including her beloved ones. And that is someone to be helped, and not to punish.

Help ourselves to help others.

But in order to help others, we need to know how to help ourselves: 

When you see the suffering of that person, you don’t want to punish him anymore. You know that you have to help him to transform the anger in him. But you cannot help him unless you know how to do it yourself. If you don’t know how to go home to yourself with mindfulness… recognize, embrace and transform your anger, you cannot help the other person to transform his or her anger.

Meditations offer us concrete ways of recognizing, embracing, calming, and transforming our anger. Having mastered these techniques, we can help those in need.

Everyone knows that anger is not good for us and for other people. Everyone knows that. But the fact is that they cannot help it. They are overwhelmed by the energy of violence, of anger; that is why everyone should learn the art of embracing anger and transforming it.

It is known by most that when anger manifests in us, we should not do anything, we should not say anything. Because doing or saying something out of anger will bring about negative things that will make us regret later.

Does anger sometimes help?

This has been asked so many times. In fact, if someone makes you angry, you should not try to suppress your anger because suppressing anger may be very dangerous. Using the energy of mindfulness to recognize your anger and embrace it tenderly is what we should do. Much safer.

Don’t suppress your anger; use loving speech to talk about it.
Using the energy of mindfulness to deal with our anger doesn’t mean not telling the person who caused it. On the contrary, we should tell them that we are angry, and that we are suffering because of their actions. But we should explain this “with loving speech.”

Acting out of anger brings suffering.

When we are angry, we are not very lucid.

If we are really angry, we shouldn’t do or say anything. We must communicate our suffering, rather than just using anger to prove something.

There are those of us who think that the energy of anger can be very powerful, that if you make use of that energy, you will do a lot of things. If people are able to blow themselves up because they have a lot of anger in them, anger is a tremendous kind of energy.

It’s true that terrorists have a lot of anger in themselves. That is why they can do anything in order to punish. If we are angry and if we use anger as the energy in order to punish them back, we are behaving in exactly the same way.

Understanding and compassion as the antidote.

The core teaching is that anger can never remove anger. Anger can only promote more anger. Only understanding and compassion can put down the flame of anger in us and in the other person. Understanding and compassion is the only antidote for anger. And using that, you heal yourself and you help heal the people who are victims of anger.

That is why we should never believe in the benefit of anger, because anger will always bring more anger. Violence will always bring more violence. And in a person-to-person relationship, that is also true. In a relationship between one group of people with another group, one country with another country, the same thing is true. 

The Emily Dahl Foundation
July 22, 2022