This week’s task excited me, because I struggle with controlling my anger at times so I was hopeful for the opportunity of working on that when I picked the card out of the jar and saw the title. However, the more I read into it, the more I realised it wasn’t quite as I expected.
This week’s task was to be done every day or every other day and involved meditating on your anger (and we all know how much me and meditation just don’t get on!). I was to sit and breathe deep before thinking back to a recent time that I was mildly angry. I was to notice the sensations in my body as well as the other feelings it provoked, and then I was to sit with the anger and just acknowledge it, before imagining I was nurturing the anger in my arms. After I nurtured it, I was supposed to let go of it and let it leave my body. Sounds simple enough, right?
The exercise is designed to help us approach anger in a compassionate and healthy way. In theory, this sounded perfect and the irony is that I would probably really benefit from this exercise. But honestly, I’ve been feeling so burnt out lately and I’m struggling to find the time and energy to do things I actually enjoy, like reading, so I definitely didn’t fancy putting myself into a purposeful state of anger to try and then bring myself out of it. I just didn’t have the time or energy to do it this week, but I’m thinking that I could really benefit from this one, so I might store it and come back to it in coming weeks or later in the year.
What I did do though was adapted the challenge to what I felt I could do in the circumstances. So I acknowledged each time I got angry and questioned myself on why that was. What was it making me angry? Why was I angry? How did I feel when I was angry? And what I learnt was pretty interesting! I realised that most of the time, I thought I was angry but, actually, I was just irritated. There are, of course, plenty of things in the world that make me genuinely angry. The world’s not a very nice place right now. But the small, daily things that I categorised as anger actually came from a place of boredom, despair, desperation or frustration. I was irritable, not angry. And I do think there’s a difference!
I’d challenge you to assess your own experiences of anger. What makes you angry? Is it really anger or is it something else? I bet you’ll find a mixture of emotions like I did!
See you next week!