Question: Why do I continue to get angry, and why do I always feel so justified in my anger even though it always makes me feel terrible at a later time?
Answer: To be angry is to suffer. It doesn’t help anyone to get angry. Anger hurts whoever is angry. It burns. Anger ruins relationships, causes heartache and regret, and devastates health. And yet, in spite of all of these facts, when we are angry, it feels right. Somehow, in some unseen way, anger proves to whoever is experiencing its heated feelings that he or she is right even though, in the eyes of reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Anger feels like it is in your best interest because, at the time of its intrusion into your life, it temporarily fills you with a powerful false sense of self. However, this anger can only exist without your conscious consent or awareness of its being there. So it is good that you are wondering how you can be tricked into feeling bad about anything. The Truth wants you to know that it is never in your best interest to suffer, no matter how inwardly convincing it may feel to you that you will be betraying yourself if you don’t. Anger hypnotizes you with a flood of itself. Step back and learn instead to listen to the quiet stream of higher insight that runs softly through your true nature. Let it show you that your anger and suffering proves nothing.
Question: Is it important to defend yourself with an angry person, or at least point out to him how poorly he is behaving?
Answer: When someone is angry with you, your own awakened insight shows you he isn’t really angry at you, but only with his fixed idea about you. Something unexpected in your behavior has upset his mental picture of you – and its wavering shape is making him feel like he’s losing control. So he reasons wrongly it’s you on the attack – and the only choice left for him is to return the attack. And his conviction you’re to blame is confirmed with his every strike, for the pain he gives is the pain he then gets – since all he really rages against is an image within his own mind which is where each of his blows finds its mark. So what need is there to punish those who would punish us? They have already been thoroughly self-punished.
Question: When I look at myself, it seems that my most prevalent emotion is anger. It’s always there, and I feel powerless to stop my raging thoughts. What can I do? I really am weary of my own out-of-control emotions.
Answer: You already know that your anger is destroying you. It is… and it will. The fact that you are tired of losing your life to these self-harming psychic states means you are ready for a change. Here is a new way to work with what’s been working you over: The next time some hostile state takes you over, either in thought – as in remembering something someone did to you in the past – or in an actual moment of conflict with someone standing before you, take the following inner steps as soon as you can remember yourself to do so: Start by seeing that something foreign to your True Nature has imposed itself on you, taken over your life. Once having done this, do nothing else except realize that while you may be temporarily powerless to stop the lower state from possessing you, you are empowered to recognize the negative state as the intruder that it is. This awareness, this conscious, unself-justifying awareness of your true pained condition, is what it means to put the Light on the problem. That’s your job. The Light will do its part if you’ll do yours. Persist until you are free!
Excerpted from The Intimate Enemy by Guy Finley.
About the Author: Guy Finley, Your Bi-Weekly Mentor, is the best-selling author of more than 40 books and audio albums on self-realization. He is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit center for spiritual discovery located in southern Oregon where he gives talks four times each week. For more information visit www.guyfinley.org, and sign up to receive a free helpful weekly newsletter and other gifts.
Click here to read Guy’s autobiography and find more of his articles posted on The Teen Mentor.