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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Be Angry

I once took a seminar that took the five stages of grief described by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and applied them to traumas suffered by school kids: loss of a relative, frequent moves from school to school, etc. (FYI the stages are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.)

The trainer was a highly-qualified psychologist, and a highly-evolved human being. She talked about "natural anger," and explained that it came and went in a flash. She gave us an image that has stuck with me ever since: Two cats encountering each other, arching their backs and hissing, and then passing on unaffected.

Wow. They feel it, they express it, and they let it go.

Why can't we?

It seems that the problem for us lies in hanging on to our anger, cherishing it, nursing it, and letting it fester, until it owns us.

Of course, there are healthy and unhealthy ways to express the anger we feel. That's a big topic, for another time. But key here is the idea that we should express it, and not let it take control of us.

Do it.

You'll be happier.

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