Learn to let go of anger and the past, and start living in the present. Relationship expert and New York bestseller author, Iyanla Vanzant, and Oprah discuss what anger really is and how to set yourself free. Learn from the best to be your true self again!
What is Anger?
In the book “Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You Are Going Through”, Iyanla Vansant, explains what anger really is.
There are two emotions: love and fear. Anger is a manifestation of fear. There are four primal fears:
1. The fear of losing someone’s love, or having your love rejected.
2. The fear of being powerless, helpless, hopeless, vulnerable ; the fear of being unsafe (vulnerable means “weakness” to the Ego)
3. The fear of losing control (the number one human addiction)
4. The fear of not being seen as valuable, worthy, necessary
Anger is a manifestation of one of these four fears.
Why do we feel Anger?
You are never angry for the reason that you think that you are. You are not born with anger in you, but when something happens in your experience and you have a fear response, as described above, the experience makes an impression on the soul. When something else happens in your life that reminds you of the first experience, the anger from the first experience is stirred up all over again. For example, let’s say that your lover leaves you and you get angry. The reason for your anger is not that your lover has left you. Instead, the situation is the trigger to remind you that there is something deep inside you that needs to be healed.
How do we live with Anger?
We often take out our anger on family members and lovers. Why? The reason why we avoid expressing our anger towards strangers is simply because we are afraid of being rejected and feeling vulnerable (primal fears 1 and 2). We love to be in control and are terrified of losing it (primal fear 3). We know it’s harder to control strangers, and this is why we often take out our anger on people who are closest to us and who love us.
We have a tendency to test our lover, and want to see how badly we can behave (expressing anger) before he/she leaves you. This behavior (expressing anger) is based on fear, and if you give out the energy of fear to the world, more fear will come back to you in some form, according to Law of Attraction. In other words, anger is fueling the fear.
Until you make peace with the past, you will continue to bleed and stain your life. You can bandage your bleeding with alcohol, food, drugs, sex etc. but it will eventually stain your life. It’s like when you have a stain on your shirt and you check to see if anyone else notices it and you try to cover the stain.
To live with pain will, after a while, become a habit / an addiction. Your body will become used to the feeling of anger, and in order to get your “kick”, you will create situations that will fuel this energy of anger. It’s just like a drug. You will go around looking for fights and expecting fights wherever you go in order to get your “anger-kick”. So how do you break the habit of staying angry?
How to let go of Anger
Ask yourself how your anger is serving you
As mentioned earlier, you are never angry for the reason that you think. You are always getting something out of being angry, or else you wouldn’t hold on to it. For some people anger becomes a definition of who they are. For example, they may re-play the story of being a victim and powerless by holding on to the anger.
Iyanla Vansant explains that when you are angry at someone, it’s like an “energetic hook”, until one person lets go…To let go of this “energetic hook”, use the following mantra: “I refuse to be angry today”. The anger is going to challenge you, and then you will get the chance to see how the anger is serving you / the Ego.
You use your anger and the story that you keep telling yourself (story by the Ego) as a safety net for your failures. You use your anger as an excuse to stay out of your brilliance and your true power and purpose in life.
Don’t make your anger about the other person, but about yourself. As you direct anger towards a person, you send out negative energies to the Universe. Is this something to be proud of? If not, then stop it now. Create what you want, instead of what you didn’t have.
Stay out of your mind and get into your body
Recognize that anger is the “easy” way out (for the Ego) because when you are angry you get to control the situation (primal fear 3). When you hold on to anger, you are running different stories in your mind that will match the same energy frequency as the anger. This is the Ego at work for its survival. It is therefore important to leave your mind out when releasing your anger. Iyanla Vanzant’s advice is to “stay out of your mind if you don’t have an adult supervision”.
To let go of the anger and the Ego, understand that right beneath the anger, there is pain and hurt. Go to the hurt and “drop” to the vulnerability. Here is how you do it:
Drop your hands to the side, relax your body, close your eyes, and disconnect your brain. You can get into the bath tub and add some lavender and Epsom salt to relax your body and clean out the toxins. Now, invite the hurt forward. Look for what you are really hurt about. Go back to the situation that made you angry, and tell what hurts you. The tricky part as you identify the hurt, is to not make it about anybody else. Own your feelings by saying “What hurt me was…”, “It hurts because…” etc. Remember that anger is just an energy that will pass as soon as you recognize it for what it is: hurt. Stay in your body and with your pain for a while, and don’t think.
Feel the emotion (anger, pain) without any thoughts
Feel the pain, but don’t use your mind. When your mind doesn’t feed the anger anymore, it can no longer exist because the energy of anger and pain dissolves in the light of love. Where the love is, there can not be any anger or pain. You were born as a positive light being, and the only thing that can distort this knowing, is the negativity of your mind; your Ego.
So, anger is usually layered on top of other emotions. To let go of your anger you need to reach the place of love in your heart, and you do this by going deeper within yourself, step by step. The emotional layers you must pass are:
Anger – Fear – Hurt – Vulnerability – Love & Forgiveness
We need to forgive ourselves and others in order to release the anger. Forgiveness comes easier when we understand that we (including our “enemies”) do the best we can with what we have, know and understand, at any given point in time. When we know better, we do better. We have the opportunity to choose to move forward and heal our wounds.
Furthermore, challenges come to us as an opportunity to grow on a spiritual level. If we can get into the grace of the difficulty, it will mature us spiritually and we will begin to understand the blessings behind the challenges. Iyanla Vanzant knows that there is always a blessing behind every challenge but had difficulties in coming to terms with the blessings of losing her own daughter. However, when she started thinking about releasing the physicality of her daughter, it all came into place. She understood that she didn’t have to see her daughter in order to love her and know her. When she understood that she no longer needed to control everything; she was free in her love.
Set yourself free, here and now. Reach to the place in your heart and let go of the anger. Create what you want, instead of what you didn’t have.