Spend Your Anger

by Mark Ivar Myhre on July 11, 2007

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Think back to the last time someone made you angry. Maybe it was earlier today, or yesterday. Or a few days back. It probably wasn’t that long ago.

What did they say? What did they do? Remember the circumstances? Get the image in mind. Now, think back to what you DID about the anger.

Does the other person even know you got angry? Did you dump it on them? Or did you bottle it up inside – keeping your mouth shut – and hiding it from view?

If you’re like most people, you have a certain pattern of behavior to deal with your anger. You follow this pattern every time the anger comes up, unless you consciously take the time to choose a different response.

Most often it involves suppressing it without taking the time to feel it. Letting it sink down somewhere inside to some secret location. Secret even from you.



Others take the complete opposite approach – venting their anger immediately – in a dramatic or melodramatic fashion. Dumping their emotion on whatever or whoever makes them angry. Again, it’s often a way to NOT feel the anger.

Whether it’s a sinking suppression, or a bursting melodrama; the bottom line is that the anger goes unresolved. It’s not dealt with in a mature fashion.

Which makes sense, since the pattern of behavior you use was developed by a child.

Some little kid created a strategy long ago for how best to deal with anger. (And other emotions as well. I’m only using anger as one example.) Some little kid, who was much less wise, who had access to much less resources. Who knew little about living life. Who had few coping skills.

A small child who could barely walk and talk came up with a strategy for dealing with emotions. And most likely you’re using the exact same strategy today as you did when you were that small child.

You can’t blame a little kid for trying to cope with life. But why would you continue your pattern unchanged for all these years?

Well, maybe you never thought about it. Maybe you didn’t know any other way. Maybe none of the many problems that come with suppressed anger have surfaced yet. Maybe you don’t see the connection between your unresolved anger and your depression, or your anxiety, or your health problems. Maybe it doesn’t seem important to resolve your anger.



OR… maybe you’re using your anger as emotional currency. Like I’ve been known to do.

There was a time in my life when the only currency I had was emotional currency:

“You made me mad. I’m going to hold onto that anger. It’s valuable to me. And then one day I’ll spend it. I’ll get you back.”

Or maybe I’ll never spend it. Maybe I’ll just keep it as money in the bank. Maybe I’ll build up my savings account. And no one will ever know I’m secretly getting rich.

“You owe me. I don’t have to clean up my room. And I have the right to be just as naughty as I want.”

And you’ll never even know. Because it’s a secret. I won’t even think about it myself. I’ll just keep fooling myself into thinking I’m a rich kid. Rich with emotional currency that fuels my entitlement. That gives me a false sense of value. That separates me from myself, from my true feelings, and from my world.

All emotions are designed to be FELT as fully as possible. When you do, then they naturally tend to release themselves. When you feel the full complexity of any emotion – savoring the taste all the way down to your toes – then you never have to worry about releasing it.

But if you’re using your emotions as currency – hoarding them away in some sort of perverted savings account – you’re creating all sorts of problems.

Because ANY emotion you hold onto – even love – will damage you. It’s like clogging up your drain. Or clogging up your arteries. It stops the flow of energy when you hold on to your emotions. You begin to stagnate.

If you lock your anger in a cage of righteousness (“I have the right to be angry!!”) then you’ll end up being eaten alive.

If you really, really ARE right… then usually you make someone else really, really wrong. In your own mind, you have the satisfaction on being right. But you pay a high price. And you’re not building your savings account. More likely you’re digging yourself into a hole.



So what’s the answer? Let go of the righteousness. Which can only be done by choosing to. You don’t choose to be angry or not. You choose what you DO with the anger.

Clean anger is a wonderful thing. Beautiful in it’s own way. But keep it locked inside of you (because you really are right!!!) and it starts polluting you in many ways.

Emotional currency is like radioactive waste. It damages you. You might not notice it today. But at some point you will.

You want to know the best thing about dirty money? It spends quickly, if you let it. Believe me, I know.

all the best,

Mark

Mark Ivar Myhre
The Emotional Healing Coach
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