“why should I be angry? It won’t change how you feel.”


My anger at the world coils inside of me. It’s a directionless seething, there’s no name or face to aim at.”

The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn


Anger is energy and energy is something to be ‘applied.’ In other words, the energy of anger needs to be used.

Which leads me to what you do when angered and how you treat others when angry.

Maybe they are the same, but I am going to treat them differently.

Desire defines what we think we need. And often defines how we act. When we don’t get what we ‘desire’ (or expect – they can be interchangeable) it sometimes can take us to places we never thought we would ever go. And it sometimes fuels us to do some amazing things as well as some amazing stupid things. Yup. sometimes we suppress it. But in the end you either face up to your actions, and how you want to act, or you will have to face the fact you are an angry person.

This desire thing has two faces: anger and disappointment. And anger and disappointment actually take up space. So much that sometime they can, without words, take up almost entire rooms. What do I mean? They can squeeze the space in a room so much you cannot breathe.

Which leads me to the fact anger squeezes conversations.

Conversations are the smallest units of change. In this case, conversations are what solves anger (as well as fuels anger). Unfortunately, anger is a problem to, and with, conversations. Everyday life is full of conversations of depth every day, some bringing a depth of joy, some bringing a depth of chaos, some bringing a depth of grief, some of anger, some of disappointment. All these conversations reflect the depth and breadth of, well, life. The deeper the authenticity, the genuineness, the integrity of conversations the deeper the meaning of conversations and, as a consequence, life.  This is where the weight of kindness and unkindness shove each other. This is where guilt and contrition reside. This is where the condemning and uncondemning words and thoughts battle. This is where brute force and gentleness face each other. This is where actions have consequences. This is where learning occurs and all those action’s consequences can be redirected.

Which leads me to anger can be a gift.

Anger is a self imposed trial and therein lies its gift. Far too often we wield anger against someone, yet, rarely will it ever change how the other person feels. Anger is always about yourself not the other person. And here is where anger offers its greatest, and most tricky, gift. Anger gifts you the ability to find something where nothing exists (if you permit it to do so). You cannot carry anger, frustration, disappointment or resentment into the future. And it is rarely useful in the present. Anger is a black hole. A black hole where nothing exists – there is no past, present nor future in anger. It would be silly of me to suggest that no one should ever feel anger because it is a human thing to do.  But maybe we should think of ‘anger as a black hole.’ Think about it because after anger there is typically a need for some type of forgiveness to fill the hole and move on. Maybe the mistake many of us make is to believe that we can leave the anger behind. You cannot. It leaves a hole. And holes need to be mended (or filled). I don’t have an answer of how one would ever fill up a black hole enough to ensure that which has no past, present or future ends up having some meaning. Maybe it is simply the awareness of this that permits us to be better people.

In the end.

Anger gains you nothing and costs you much, but it is always a learning experience.

I scribbled this on a random piece of paper: “I cannot be angry with you. Anger would be a waste of the moments we have and would make us weak in the face of the things yet to do.” Therein lies the gift paradox. Anger wastes moments and, yet, it offers learning moments. I imagine all I can offer is navigate the moments wisely. Ponder.

Written by Bruce