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  • Writer's picturedavidauten


Anger is insight, into what we truly care about, what actually matters to us beyond the many trivialities that would manage and mangle our daily living; love for a daughter, a sense of calling to a kind of work more than only work, a way of being in the world expressing our elemental beliefs and desires. Purged of violence, anger is a basic form of honesty, without any adornment, an ancient urge embodying our deep displeasure with how life goes awry, our plans come to naught, and those dear to us gradually fade from view. As such rage is a reminder of love’s ferocity, the fiery passion of our commitment to what we value most, with the ability to incinerate any false propriety preventing us from owning a more genuine, intuitive form of compassion, for others and ourselves.

One of the worst things we can do with anger is attempt its manipulation, stifling its fury, as if it were a source of shame to be snuffed out as soon as possible. Anger shortchanged will only surface again, and often with an eruptive force unequal to its original inception. Anger needs space to be before it can settle to a smolder, searing away the chaff within us first, illusions of control often cloaking the reality of our impotence in an unpredictable and hostile world. As a core emotional competence, anger has its own intelligence, reasons that reason does not know. Ultimately, anger cannot be defined, for definition is an intellectual affair. Anger emotes. Simply, and at its most fundamental level, anger burns, setting our lives aglow, as much as joy, despair, or a feeling of inner peace. Acknowledging anger more openly when needed will not help us transcend it but rather accept and integrate its vitality. In the end, anger is ironic, in that it often calls for an apology in its aftermath yet arose out of necessity, the natural and eventual consequence of our caring, destined for friction in a world too often at odds with our hopes, dreams, and limited means of protecting them and those we love.


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