Getting Mad Is Even Better

I never threw temper tantrums as a child. Apparently I was a nauseatingly good boy from the moment I popped out. These days, however, I find that I’m not always so well-behaved. Every now and then I get really honked off about some situation or circumstance that I don’t like and that feels like it’s been going on way too long.

It doesn’t feel particularly evolved or enlightened to punch out my pillow or pound the shower stall walls . . . but I have to admit . . . sometimes it feels embarrassingly good. So rather than beating my fist–or head–against the wall, I decided to ask The Shower Team if maybe, just maybe . . . getting mad sometimes means getting better?

We would so much rather see you get angry than sad. We would much rather see you yell and kick and scream and stomp your feet and shake your fists—even at us—than to see you pull the covers over your head or hide your face in your hands or beat yourself up. The reason for this is because anger usually feels better to you than despair or depression or discouragement. And we want to see you feeling better and better, because as you allow yourself to make the emotional journey from despair or disempowerment and depression to rage or to blame or to anger or frustration, then you are at least moving in the right direction—toward empowerment.

When you feel desperate or discouraged or sorrowful, you also tend to feel stuck there in a place where you have very little control. You feel helpless. You feel lost. These are all lies, but in that state you believe there really is very little you can do. When you allow yourself to move up from there to anger, you feel more empowered. When you are angry, you feel energy moving again. You want to act even if it’s just to hit someone or to yell or scream . . . And although we would not recommend hitting someone and would hope for you to continue that emotional journey from anger to even better feeling states, we would still much prefer to see you throw a hissie fit about where you stand in relation to your desires because that is one of the most powerful indicators that you are recognizing that things are supposed to be better than you’re letting them be.

In this feeling of anger you are acutely noticing the difference between what your desires have called you to and where you are holding yourself. We don’t blame you one bit for being pissed. In fact, we celebrate your hissie fit . . . we applaud your tantrums . . . and we would offer to you that if you will recognize the power of the desire behind that anger, and turn your attention toward increasingly better feeling thoughts that channel that power, you will be begin to see the faster progress that you want.

Allow your anger to lead you to action, but make it action that continues to move you up that emotional scale, from rage and anger to frustration and irritation to impatience to resolve and determination to calm hopefulness and so on and so on . . . Recognize that anger is often experienced as a powerful form of relief and therefore, can be a powerful step in a more positive direction. Recognize and appreciate that fact rather than judging yourself harshly for your anger. Recognize and appreciate the guidance that you are receiving and simply continue to turn in the direction of what brings you relief—even if it leaves those observing you shaking their heads and wagging their fingers.

When you can’t help noticing that you are not where you want to be and you KNOW that you are supposed to be feeling better than you are—and when the only other options you can find or feel are discouragement or depression, we would respectfully suggest that you get pissed—and get the ball rolling back in a better feeling direction.


Permission to get pissed has apparently been granted! Maybe it’s not the warmest and fuzziest approach to feeling better . . . but I can sure vouch for the preferability of punching a pillow over self-flagellation. Nearly every single time that I’ve allowed myself to get angry about something in my life that doesn’t feel good . . . I’ve noticed myself starting to feel better.

So far, I haven’t turned into an angerholic. I’m pretty sure I’m still mostly a good boy. But it’s nice to know I have options when I get sick and tired of being sick and tired. It’s at least a slightly empowering thought. And that leaves me feeling freer to be me, even when that me is honked off. And that leaves me feeling, for the moment, just a little more assertively complete.

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About Dan

Published novelist, poety, essayist, photographer and college educator. Visit me at www.firstadream.com.

Posted on June 24, 2007, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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