My friend and colleague Nick told me about a therapist who'd told him that the first 5-10 sessions, people usually need to just vent and get all their anger out. Only then can we get to the real issues. I'm thinking there might be a point here.
Then this morning, I was listening to a book on the law of attraction, and it mentioned that if you're feeling depressed, moving from depression to anger is actually a step up, a move in the right direction. It's a first step towards joy and bliss and happiness, even if the people around you are telling you that it's wrong to be angry.
With that in mind, maybe that's what we're seeing in America right now. A large population that's been holding in their anger so long and now just need to vent. And a large population that's been depressed so long, and is now finally taking a step up from depression to anger.
I think that makes a lot of sense.
Anger is a really useful emotion. Yes, there are ways of expressing anger that are more helpful than others, but the emotion itself has really valuable information for us. It tells us that there's been a trespass. Someone's stepped over our boundaries.
Boundaries are critically important for our wellbeing. We need the ability to maintain healthy boundaries in order to be healthy, thriving beings. When boundaries have been violated, that's important information, so we can correct the trespass.
Let's celebrate the anger and learn how to take the information and use it effectively, rather than lashing out or suppressing.
I would love to see our society get on the path to helping all of us do that together, united. I would love to see us come together to figure out how we can facilitate the process of venting all this pent-up anger in healthy ways.
Americans in particular are so afraid of the wilderness inside all of us. The anger, the passion, the sadness. We try to manage and suppress it with anti-depressants, drugs, alcohol, political correctness, puritanism and making sure other people don't have access to sex or drugs or whatever we don't like, thinking that if we can just be all neat and orderly on the surface, things will be fine.
It doesn't work that way. Trying to suppress the wilderness inside, whether your own or other people's, will always end up like trying to hold a beach ball under water: Sooner or later it's going to come up and hit you in your face, and it's going to splash all over. It cannot go any other way.
It's a mystery that our leaders and our general population haven't figured this out yet. The evidence is everywhere. But we think if we just try a little harder, it's going to work this time. It won't.