by Gary 'Z' McGee
and who can express it skillfully
is a man in whom forcefulness
coexists with vulnerability and compassion,
a man worthy of our trust,
a man capable of deep intimacy."
It's what you do with your anger that becomes problematic. It's your response to anger, that makes it healthy or not. Anger can be a tool toward leveraging courage into your life or it can be a weapon that violently destroys everything.
It can be a fire that makes you stronger or it can be a fire that consumes you.
Sit at the feet of it and learn what it must teach. Then proactively transform that information into a healthy response.
Here are four types of healthy anger that will help you do precisely that.
when we're angry at others,
we aim for retaliation or revenge.
But when we're angry for others,
we seek out justice and a better system.
We don't just want to punish;
we want to help."
Not only for yourself but
for others as well. It's a deep understanding that everything is
connected, and an even deeper understanding that your anger is a
healthy response toward injustice.
Rather than violent, offensive acts of vengeful anger for the satisfaction of your ego; practice nonviolent, defensive acts of compassionate anger for a cause greater than yourself.
Self-defense and the defense of others less capable is subsumed by compassionate anger. Compassionate anger for a cause greater than yourself is the epitome of transforming fire into fuel.
It takes the raw fire of your fierce passion and turns it into focused fuel that will give you the courage and fierceness needed to act for the good of the whole.
is necessarily to be a vulnerable risk-taker;
to be a courageous human
is to be good at it."
There's no intimacy. There's no connection between cause and effect, between healthy and unhealthy.
This type of anger is all
surface. It's volatile and irrational, congealed wrath and repressed
rage. Typically associated with a narrow-minded, codependent
There's an emotional
flexibility that is tantamount to alchemy. Typically associated with
a broad-minded, interdependent mindset.
When we're invulnerable with our anger it's unresolved and it becomes repressed while filling us with reactive angst.
but moral fire,
protecting what is weak
or vulnerable or broken inside us
The type of righteous anger that flips over tables like Christ did against the greedy bankers. The type of sacred anger that would rather live a hard life of freedom than an easy life of slavery.
Such anger is sacred
precisely because it instills in us an unstoppable courage.
Moral anger, felt deep in the heart and the gut, is a healthy response to immoral action.
are as difficult as they are rare."
It's meditative and
healing, reminiscent and cathartic. It honors the wounds of the past
in the alchemical present so that they may become the wisdom of
It pinpoints the source
of combustion. It breathes out the fire of anger so that we may
breathe in the fuel of life.
The better we get at
using the tool, the better our art will be. Whether that art is
carpentry or our life.
If we can make a point of practicing compassionate, vulnerable, moral and mindful anger then we can recondition our conditioning and perhaps even come up with even healthier ways of channeling this most fickle and elusive of passions...