Anger and Love

We believe anger is always motivated by love. Love of ourselves (or another) and a desire to protect ourselves (or another), or to enable ourselves (or others) to move forward and live a rich fulfilling life with integrity and honesty. Think of the last time you were angry –‐ who were you wanting to protect?

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Or who’s rights were you wanting to stand up for? Or what was being blocked that you wanted to move towards? It may be as simple as:

  • ‘I wanted to stand up for my right to be listened to.’ 

  • ‘I wanted to protect myself from being taken advantage of.’ 

  • ‘I wanted to stand up for my right to be myself.’ 

  • ‘I wanted to protect my child from harm.’ 

  • ‘I wanted our relationship to grow.’

  • ‘I wanted to be told the truth.’

As you think this through you will find the deep motivations that your anger is coming from.

Anger does not wish harm on anybody, it simply wishes to protect, or to stand up for what is important. However anger will take physical action when necessary. Who would not step in to protect their child from danger?

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We often value kindness and politeness in this society, but there are times when these behaviours can actually represent an abdication of responsibility.

As Edmund Burke said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Anger is not a force who’s primary aim is to connect. Anger will risk disconnection from others in order to protect or stand up for what is important. However, there’s a paradox here: we often find that when we share our truth with others they come to understand us better and are able to accept and relate to us more fully. So we actually strengthen our connection with them through expressing our anger in a mature and respectful way.

It is also important in close relationships that we know we have the ability to protect and defend ourselves if necessary. Only then is it possible to open to true intimacy with another – otherwise we will always feel too vulnerable to share ourself deeply.

When we have healthy anger we are not necessarily angry at the times when we are preserving our boundaries or standing up for ourselves. However, we are able to notice, allow, respect and listen to the stirrings of anger which speak up within us at certain times. These alert us to the possibility that our boundaries are being crossed in some way. We can then listen to this and consider what we need to protect or stand up for and what action we need to take. When we come to actually take the action we may no longer need to be in touch with the anger.

“Love implies anger. The man who is angered by nothing cares about nothing.”

Edward Abbey

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“A man that does not know how to be angry does not know how to be good.”

Henry Ward Beecher

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One thought on “Anger and Love

  1. […] “Let us risk the wildest places Lest we go down in comfort, and despair.” ~Mary Oliver~ “The world needs anger. The world often continues to allow evil because it isn’t angry enough.”  ~Bede Jarrett~   “Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry.” ~Lyman Abbott~ “At the core of all anger is a need that is not being fulfilled.”  ~Marshall B. Rosenberg~   “Anger is an essential part of being human. People are taught to deny themselves anger, and in this, they are actually opening themselves up to hate. The more you deny yourself the freedom to be angry, the more you will hate. Let yourself be angry, and hate will disintegrate, and when hate disintegrates, forgiveness prevails! The more you deny that you are angry, in attempts to be “holy” the more inhuman you will become, and the more inhuman you will become, the harder it will be to forgive.”  ~C. JoyBell C.~ Further information about Anger   Follow this link to see the talk Hugh and I have recorded about anger and the ‘Warrior’ archetype: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itstCBJKaoo&list=PLvgWYx0ae1cAiiORIRiy9tCWM0BE2RPrz&index=9  and follow these links to read our blogs on anger: ← Celebrating Anger Managing Repressed or Overwhelming Anger → ← Anger and Love […]

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