Visits with Anger

Welcome anger when it arrives. It can be a most helpful visitor.

You may even give it safe harbour in your life for a time. Perhaps a season.

Let anger instruct you a little. It might tell you about those disappointments and hurts you’ve overlooked for too long. It might remind you of what’s really important in life when you’ve become habitually distracted.

Let anger do a dance with your fear. Sometimes those things you’ve been avoiding because you’re too scared can be easier when anger gives you the focus, energy, or determination to push past anxiety and do what truly needs to be said and done.

Let anger tell you stories of loss and injustice. Allow it to remind you of your sadness and grief. Cry out with it about the state of the world. Permit it to ask hard questions about good and evil. Hear its invitation to change and transformation.

But don’t let it anger drop it’s anchor in your port for too long. It can easily take up permanent residence. It needs to sail out again – to be released to open waters and take its leave. It mustn’t be allowed to linger too long lest the whole community of your heart and mind be dominated by it.

Don’t let it stay longer than a season. That wild and powerful anger can easily become domesticated. Most of us prefer it this way: calmer and civilized, but it becomes a whole other creature. Bitterness eats us like a cancer. We may not fear it because it behaves itself, but it can be an equally destructive and dangerous resident if we let it stay.

We must only let anger visit. It has no health to ourselves or anyone else as a permanent resident. But to deny it entry or attempt to banish it is a danger in itself. So welcome it. Interact with it. Converse with it. Treat as a friend you visit from time to time, but not one you live with. It will come regardless so it’s better to have a healthy relationship with it: the kind where you comfortably tell it when to come and when to leave. The type of relationship where it can speak honest and helpful truth into your life, but you don’t just accept everything it says at face value.

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