“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything: anger, anxiety, or possessions, we cannot be free.”
–Thich Nhat Hanh
One of my favorite movies is the 2003 comedy Anger Management starring Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson. In one scene in the movie Jack Nicholson says:
“There are two kinds of angry people in the world: explosive and implosive. Explosive is the kind of individual you see screaming at the cashier for not taking their coupons. Implosive is the cashier who remains quiet day after day and finally shoots everyone in the store.”
That scene resonated with me when I saw it because I was the cashier. I was the one who remained quiet day after day and then when it was too much, I verbally blew up on someone, usually a loved one.
At the time, I didn’t know where my anger was coming from. Actually, if I’m honest, I didn’t know I was angry. I figured I was just frustrated or discouraged because, as a newlywed and a college student, I was stressed.
I didn’t know my “blowups” were affecting me and my relationships. I was completely unaware of how much anger I had and how it was impacting my life.
Years went by and then someone said:
“You are not as sweet as you used to be.”
I was offended and confused, but deep down I knew they were right but I refused to admit it. I was in denial.
I blamed my career:
At the time, I worked with victims of crime. As you can imagine, I saw and heard a lot of horrific things. Working in that environment, day after day, I became a little rough around the edges.
I blamed my personal life:
I felt unbalanced and that left me very irritable. Plus I was a new mother and was dealing with postpartum challenges.
I blamed everything but me:
I wasn’t handling or dealing with anger. I wasn’t trying to fix any situation that was toxic or unhealthy. I honestly didn’t know what was causing the anger.
Then two years ago I went through a divorce. I think that was my tipping point because I exploded. My mouth had no filter. I freely expressed all of my anger, both current and past.
It was like a complete purge of every hurt I was holding on to from my whole life. When I understood this it blew my mind. I didn’t realize I was holding on to past trauma and hurt. For years I had carried this pain and it stole my joy and the quality of my life.
Because I was entering a new chapter in my life I decided to focus on healing. I wanted to heal from the divorce and from past hurts. I chose to tackle anger head-on so I could understand the emotion and learn how to handle it. I didn’t want anger to negatively impact my future.
It’s two years since I started focusing on healing. I began incorporating the Oola principles and foundations in my life and I’ve made amazing progress.
My life isn’t perfect but I’m free from a lot of the hurtful baggage I was carrying around. But best of all I’m not angry anymore. In fact, I even stopped using sarcasm, which I had used in the past to mask my anger.
I’ve learned to recognize my triggers and install the kind of boundaries I need to stay centered.
Now when I feel angry, I analyze the situation and focus on the root cause, communicate and process what I can, and let it go.
If I do mess up I take accountability and ask for forgiveness. The most important thing for me is to never harbor anger or anything negative. This is not the way I now live my life. I am so glad I found a healthier way of dealing with anger.
If you’re dealing with anger and not sure how to tackle it, here are some things you can try:
Pray and seek God.
Take accountability for your own actions.
Go to counseling or therapy.
Talk to a family or a friend you trust.
Find a support group.
Figure out the root cause(s) of your anger and work on healing.
Give yourself grace.
Be patient, it takes time to heal.
Find an Oola Life Coach.
Read the Oola books by Dr. Troy Amdahl and Dr. Dave Braun.
Harboring anger is not a healthy way to live. If anger is blocking you from living an Oola life know you are not alone. Inside you have all of the capabilities and support to be free from anger.
Anger can either be “a bump in the road or it can be a block.” If you want to live your best life view anger as a bump. Don’t let it consume you in an unhealthy way.
In Oola, we live differently!