We are in a time of immense change – where life is forcing us to examine and challenge the very essence of our human condition. For real change to happen we need to acknowledge and take responsibility for our emotions rather than playing the victim and the blame game.
I believe that anger is an expression of fear and fear is an expression of anger. A paradox. We feel the reverse to what we show the world.
Traditionally it was considered acceptable for a man to say he was angry when in fact he was afraid and for a woman to say she was afraid when she felt unable to own her anger.
I still see this with clients. Women are often consumed with anger which they conceal to the detriment of their health.
And men will twist themselves inside out so no-one can see how fearful and anxious they really are.
Anger is like Armory – it’s a protection when we feel afraid. We hide our fear or vulnerability by cloaking it in anger. This shield keeps people out and if left unchecked becomes a reflex.
I believe the anger we are seeing all over the world right now is a denial of how fearful we are.
We are confusing the symptom with the cause.
The symptom is anger and the cause is fear so in effect we are treating the wrong ailment. If we can look within ourselves and acknowledge that we are afraid then we can go a long way to dissolving the anger that’s bubbling away in so many of us.
Only then can we heal as individuals and as a society.
In a culture of buying to fill a need or lack in us are we just covering up the emptiness inside?
I grew up in an Ireland where you did someone a favour to show you cared – now you give gifts. You kept an eye on those vulnerable or in need without wanting anything in return. It was just the way of things.
Nowadays it seems the more consumerism booms, the more we disconnect from one another. Giving doesn’t require effort, it only requires us to show up. To be there. It doesn’t come with a burden. We don’t need to carry or fix anything. It’s in that place that the gift is given and returned many times.
When we give stuff, we give from the head, when we give someone our full attention it’s a gift from the heart.