Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Anger: Decision or Emotion

But Kim, anger isn't a decision, it's an emotion. Taking action from anger is a decision, but that is not synonymous with the raw emotion. I think a person who never gets angry is either someone who has become enlightened, or else is someone who doesn't know or admit to their anger. Every human swims in the same pool of raw emotions, and I hear that enlightened beings once did too. I think that pretending, avoiding or debating whether or not to be angry is also part of being human. But it's not going to get us into heaven (wink). That's mental activity trying to decide something good or bad about human nature. I think. :)

But the main point for me is what's underneath. In my experience, sadness & fear are under or coupled with anger, so I say it's even practical to listen to the anger. It's a matter of care, to notice the fear, discover the connection, and take action that will help. After all, we aren't striving to be robots, it's an open heart we want more of. I think that making good decisions that effect life on Earth can only come from having the capacity to feel all the feelings, because raw emotions are our barometers that direct us in life, whether we know it or not.—Ginger

Decisions seem to come from the conscious mind, while emotions from the unconscious. Yet we read that several seconds before we make conscious decisions the outcome can be predicted from unconscious activity of the brain.

One question to me is whether we can do anything consciously. Can we make decisions? Can we control our anger... or our love?

Sometimes we are waiting for a parking space and someone sneaks into an open space that we've patiently had our eye upon. Some will be furious. Some will even say something rude to the space stealer. Some might try to give them a black eye. This would definitively be taking action from anger.

And some won't be angry at all. They will just say to themselves, "time to find a new space."

How did those people get that way? Good parenting? Good teachers? Smarts?

Probably a combination. I don't think the person is necessarily "repressed." They may realize, like my GPS often does, that it is time to recalculate.

4 comments:

Kate Freeman said...

How did those people get that way? Good parenting? Good teachers? Smarts? --- Mr. Kim

First, I would like to point that that most of the time when you post about anger, you use examples where anger may not necessarily seem like an appropriate response. I don’t feel as if I am the type of person who would get upset about a parking space. Actually I prefer to park far away everything and walk simply because I am uncomfortable parking in areas of heavy use where I might more likely hit something with my truck.

Think of a child that has been physically, verbally, or sexually abused. Would you tell that child that he/she shouldn’t ‘feel’ anger? I would never do that. I feel that often when bad things happen, one has to ‘feel’ all the emotions fully in order to process what has happened and heal. One needs to be allowed that space to ‘be angry’, to ‘be sad’, and to ‘be hurt’. To me, telling that child that he or she should not ‘feel’ anger means that you are victimizing that person a second time.

It is only by processing or feeling these emotions with awareness that we can learn to empathize with others. It is learning to empathize that allows people to shrug off superficial things such as loosing a desired parking spot.

Kim Mosley said...

I have now posted an edited comment by Ginger, with the addition of a second paragraph. I like her point that anger is a good teacher and/or guide (my words).

Anonymous said...

Sounds like wisdom. H.

witchwillow said...

I must agree with Kate. And, I would add that this points to my belief that we all are equipped differently, and we all have our own path to walk. I no longer become irritated by parking lot space loss. I have managed to move beyond that. I also have triggers to angry emotions that I struggle to process and put to rest. And there are sometimes, still surprises in anger that leave me feeling as I did as a child; overwhelmed by the "bigness" of it. The same can be said for every other emotion I have, which I think are the product of our whole mind and/or being at work---not a decision on a conscious level.