Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Love of Anger

Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back—in many ways it is a feast fit for a king.
The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.
-Frederick Buechner
Wishful Thinking
In treatment language, we often speak of anger as an "umbrella" emotion. It is one that often is used to cover more painful or even embarrassing emotions. We are sad- we get angry; we are afraid- we get angry; we are hurt- we get angry. That isn't to say that anger isn't appropriate sometimes- it is. But if it denies the other emotions we never get through it.

Which leads to resentment. And resentment is not a helpful thing. As I once heard it described-
resentments are like drinking poison hoping the other person dies.
That is when your own skeleton appears, having eaten away your own self-esteem and hope.

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