If you have a deep well of anger within you, it is probably because you have spent years telling yourself why you should not.
If you have a deep well of anger within you, it is not because you are filled with rage. It is because you are filled with excuses and justifications and all the words you have had to tell yourself to avoid feeling exactly the way that you feel.
If you have a deep well of anger within you, it is probably because someone let you down. It is probably because life fell short of the expectations you had for it. It is probably because you feel consistently nervous and uneasy. It is because you are somehow responsible for something that is out of your control.
If you have a deep well of anger within you, it is because you are aware of just how unfair life can be.
Sometimes, anger alerts us to change that needs to be made. Sometimes, it is a messenger. Sometimes, it is a cover up, a shield for the more vulnerable things we are afraid to say we have buried deep down.
But mostly, anger keeps us stuck because anger often wants us to act when there is no action to be taken. It wants us to lash out when there is nobody to hit. It wants us to fight back when the only enemy is ourselves.
If you have a deep well of anger within you, it is not because you don’t know what to do about it. You have it because you don’t know how to just let yourself be mad. You have it because nobody has ever let you just be angry without trying to stop you, correct you, change your thinking, and set you on the right path.
So if you have a deep well of anger within you, what you need to do is to tell yourself, I am really, really angry. And I need you to say it, again and again, until it feels so true you burst out into tears and screams. I need you to settle in it, to sink to it, to let it rise and consume you, just for a moment. I need you to allow it to shake you, to move you to the point of feeling hopeless and desperate and everything you are afraid of.
And then I need you to stop every thought that tries to correct you, every inclination that tries to tell you why you shouldn’t feel that way. You already know you shouldn’t feel that way, that’s why this is still a problem. You need to just let yourself be mad, for as long as you need to be mad.
Write it all down, all the ways life robbed you of a bit of your joy. And every time you do, I need you to nod and say, that is a terrible thing I went through, and anyone in my circumstance would feel equally as enraged. I need you to tell yourself the words that the world won’t tell you. I need you to say to yourself now everything you needed to hear then. You are supposed to be angry when you find yourself in situations that are genuinely maddening and unfair.
I need you to let that deep well of anger diffuse slowly. Because if you do not give it an outlet, it will leak out on its own, but instead of through your tears and words and the quiet solitude of your own bedroom, it will leak onto your relationships, into your job. If you do not give it a place to breathe, it will bleed out onto everything that you love and value in your life, and you cannot let it do that.
So be angry. Be angrier than the world ever gave you permission to be. Be angry for as long as you need to. Be angry every time your anger comes back up again. Do not tell yourself why you shouldn’t, tell yourself why you should.
Because the more honestly and radically and often you do this, something miraculous is going to start to happen. It is going to pass on its own. Effortlessly, and without much intervention. Within minutes, sometimes seconds, your thoughts will divert to something else and you’ll forget. You’ll suddenly feel sad then disappointed and then you’ll be at the real root of the feeling. And when you let yourself feel that completely? Clarity will come, without you having to try to make it come.
You will see the situation in a light you never have before. You will be overcome with forgiveness. You will accept that it happened, but it is not happening now, and does not have to happen again. You will grieve for the person you were, and hope for the person you are becoming. You will have new eyes, an open heart. You will understand in a way you never have before.
Most people try to shortcut the system. They try to rush to the wisdom and clarity and peace without doing the dirty work, without emptying the well. If you are angry, you have to give yourself permission to feel angry, for as long as you need to feel it.
All of those things you crave? They’ll blossom on their own. But only once you give yourself permission to feel what you really feel, without justifications, without intermissions, without excuses, without reasons, without correction. Feel what it is that’s lingering within you, because that deep well of anger? It’s in place because you’ve capped it off. Let it out, and let yourself breathe.