I get angry at stuff just like the next person. Mainstream media makes me very angry (even though I try my best to avoid it). Between election bollocks and totally unnecessary and avoidable loss of human life, I’ve been pretty pissed off lately. It’s not a nice feeling. It can eat away at you if you let it.
BUT (and there’s always a but) anger can also be a good thing. It shows that you care enough about something for it to provoke a reaction in you. It can shake you out of your indifference. If channelled in the right way, it can help you create something good. Not convinced? Come with me….
You all know by now I lost my mum. (Christ she’s going on about her dead mum again) yep, I am. Because it’s a good example. She was too young to die and she was a bloody good person. None of it was fair and the injustice of it made me angry. For a good 5 years or so, I lived with that anger, storing it away in a box in my head, not realising it even existed. Every now and then “IT” and other things I was angry about would come to the surface, mostly when I drank and I’d act like a complete arse hole, mostly to the people closest to me. I’d blame the booze but it was all me. (I’m only now realising this with the luxury of hindsight of course).
Subconsciously, I got sick of being angry and wanted to take control of that anger. It led me to do things like Brave the Shave, volunteer for The Lewis Foundation and blog for Macmillan. It’s not changing the fact that my mum’s not here but it’s giving me the chance to make a tiny, positive difference to people’s lives and that in itself is giving me a bit of control and reducing the negative impact of the anger.
Another thing I was angry about was the lack of community in my street (See From Eden to Hell and Back) I had my street meeting and it was successful and now I know 8 of the 40 households on my street and we’re holding a summer street party. I’ve been invited over to my neighbours for food and I regularly exchange pleasantries in the street. My next door neighbour even saved me from a spider. So from passively moaning and winding myself up, I actually did something that bought about positive change.
Finally, we’ve all been made angry by certain people in our lives. Perhaps they’ve lied to you without consequence, perhaps they’ve deceived you. It makes you beyond angry of course because you actually care. So what do you do? You feel that anger in your belly and you use it. You don’t let that person change you. You love and trust more than ever. You don’t let them make you cynical or guarded. You don’t let them make you think that all people are like them because they’re not. People are like you. People are good. It may not feel like that right now and the media might want you to think everyone is bad but it’s bullshit. There is love everywhere, I see it all the time and if you don’t, seek it out.
Use the anger to do something because then it won’t eat away at you and that person/event/thing that made you angry in the first place won’t have power over you.