Love Letters to Humans (no. 29) — on Anger & Frustration

If anger is a quick flame, frustration is perhaps a slow simmer. Anyone who knows me knows how much I respect anger and delight in the information frustration brings us (even if I do not delight in the lived discomfort of the feelings that accompany them).

Right Relationship requires us to feel our feelings, to have an intimacy—or, at the very least, a working familiarity—with what is going on inside us. This means experiencing our own anger and frustration. 

A couple things about anger: 1) Anger lets us know when our values are being threatened or our boundaries violated. 2) Anger masks our fear or our pain. It’s effective. It’s brilliant. It’s protective. We need it… until we don’t. 

When we’re making out with anger and frustration, we’re not getting to the root of what’s really going on. *We hurt. We fear. We’re human.* 

When we don’t honor our grief, we disregard our humanity. When we don’t honor our fear, we disregard our power. It’s not either/or. We can be hurt and afraid and powerful at the same time.

In Right Relationship with your anger and frustration, there is room for you… all of you. The anger, the hurt, the fear, the humanity, the power, and everything else. Right Relationship with frustration doesn’t mean eliminating unpleasant feelings and denying your own experience; it means acknowledging and honoring the full spectrum of your humanity and making room for yourself as you are.

Where does making out with frustration allow you to avoid your own grief and responsibility?