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All About Anger - Discussion Group

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Forest, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. Forest

    Forest Forum Administrator

    Hey Everyone,

    This past Saturday we had another fantastic discussion. It’s been great to see this discussion group continue to grow, and I am really looking forward to this Saturday’s discussion.

    I do want to emphasize that we don’t talk in depth about the readings themselves. In fact, the majority of people at past discussions don’t even own
    Pathways, let alone have read the suggested chapters for that week. I have been using the readings as a sort of starting place for the discussion, to give it some structure. Last week, we spent very little time talking about the specific case studies in Pathways, and instead used the two cases as a launching point for a great discussion about perfectionism and goodism.

    This week, the discussion group will be talking about anger. If you want, you can read Peter’s case history, found in the two sections on anger (“Anger and Self-Sacrifice” and “The Lethality of Anger”), in Pathways to Pain Relief. If you don’t have time, but want to participate, by all means join us! We’ll provide a brief overview of the reading at the beginning of the discussion and then we will dive right into anger. My guess is we’ll have plenty to talk about.

    As usual, the discussion group will start at 2:00pm EST, and will run until 3:00pm. You can connect to the discussion using your computer or your phone. Please start connecting a little early, especially if you are using your computer! Click here for detailed instructions on how to connect.

    Hope to see you there!

    Best,
    Forest
     
  2. Forest

    Forest Forum Administrator

    In preparation for this week’s Discussion Group, I have began to think quite a bit about anger and how it relates to TMS. More specifically, I thought about why anger is so often the emotion that we repress. What is it about anger that we find so hard to express?

    The answer to this question is based in our personalities. Past and current stresses are major parts of our symptoms, but our personality affects how we react to these stresses and events. Specifically, perfectionism and goodism are the driving force behind our TMS. One thing both of these traits have in common is that they deal in absolutes. We are either perfect or failures, good or bad. There is no in-between with these traits. We see only black or white, no grey.

    This spills over into how we view emotions. An emotion can either be good or bad. Happiness can only be good, and anger can only be bad. We fail to see any of the positive possibilities anger can provide. Furthermore, we believe that our emotions define who we are. If we feel angry, then we are an angry person, and therefore, since anger is bad, we are a bad person.

    But why do these personality traits develop in the first place? Perfectionism and goodism develop out of our fear of being abandoned and rejected. If we are not perfect, we fear that no one will love us. The same is true with our emotions. If we express anger, we fear that we will be unworthy of love. The key to overcoming this condition is to understand that anger does not make us unlovable. Someone can love us and be angry at us at the same time.

    Recovery from TMS involves learning that there is grey in the world, and becoming comfortable with the huge mess of emotions out there.
     
    Becca likes this.
  3. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Great discussion group, Forest. I realized that, for me, love and anger are exactly the same emotion. I love but I feel abandoned and that creates Sadness and anger (and goodism, too, yes). This is a big relief to me. I've always thought, "I try to be a loving person but am not very good at it." Well, turns out I've just twisted love a little and need to work on untwisting. Nothing really new to get bc I've already got it! Very helpful breakthrough for me.
     
  4. Dear Lianne

    Dear Lianne Peer Supporter

    Hi njoy -

    Have you read Neale Donald Walsh's book When Everything Changes, Change Everything? He says the same thing you say above - that all emotions are love - that anger and fear are a different form of love. For instance, if you fear that something will happen to you or a loved one, the fear is actually love because if you did not feel love for yourself or another person, you would not worry about something happening to cause that love to disappear.

    Just thought I would send you this note of confirmation :) Profound insight on your part.
     
  5. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Thanks, Lianne. Sensible once you think about it. Like the old saying that the opposite of love is indifference, not hate.
     
  6. Deb

    Deb New Member

    I am very new to all this. On day 10 in the series. Just posted about my struggles with anger and I came across your thread. I feel like I need to read what you wrote everyday. Thank you. I do need more grey!
     
  7. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    Thank you Forest. I, too, feel like your words are so insightful.
     
  8. Forest

    Forest Forum Administrator

    Hi Everyone,

    Here's the YouTube video of the discussion from the 16th. Sorry it took so long for me to post it here!

     
  9. Steve Ozanich

    Steve Ozanich TMS author and speaker

    This is a great thread. Anger is the major force that we fear because we fear that we can't control it. We fear it because it threatens to erupt and reveal the true-self underneath. TMS exists to hide the outward expression of anger. Nothing can destroy the superego mask of niceness like blowing up at someone or something. Nothing breaks the facade of control like a loss of control. Jung said to never push a man who is nice, it is dangerous, because anger is archaic and hard to control.

    He fears his anger because he is absolutely possessed by it. It actually controls him. His every move is in making certain he is in control, and goodism is one means of control, or appearing to be in control.

    I talked with Dr. Zafirides about this when we met over Christmas. He felt that it was the main force but that there are other emotions playing roles also. I agree, but anger is the star player on the team. It's just "negative energy" but you can also see that it's the same process as pleasure and love, only distinguished by perception.

    So, there are really only two emotions, a good one or a bad one. But they both are drivers of motivation when pitted against each other. If not for emotions we may never act on anything, eg. swamis sitting on a mountaintop meditating all day, or Hugh Hefner sitting around his pool smiling. The collision of emotions is what makes us human. It's the over-control, or severe division between wants vs. control, that knocks us out of balance. That's why expression is everything in healing. Speaking out, feeling worthy, adding value, etc. These are release valves for the pent-up energy. Unfortunately the severe TMS sufferer is not a good expressor because they see themselves as completely in control---perfect.

    Then guilt makes us angrier. The greatest rage still comes from separation from those we need, or who care for us, like mother and father. It is pure trauma. Trauma is defined as a life threat while in a state of helplessness. Our first reaction to fear is anger, and our first reaction to separation is panic, which is followed by rage. So it has some evolutionary purpose. We need the energy of anger to survive (fight/flight). But in modern society that mechanism is abused. We don't need to fight or flee when we are criticized, to survive, but we get angry anyway. To us, being chased by a lion is the same as worrying about a big project due at work, they are both needed for survival.

    If we never purge that energy from anger we suffer. But how do you purge it? You express it, and learn to use that energy from anger. Jesus flipped the moneychanger tables upside down, so anger is not all bad if aimed in the right direction. It's potentially deadly if it's never expressed.

    A large problem with anger is in conditioning to be angry by venting. Venting is just rehearsing anger and therefore more deeply ingraining it. So be careful how you purge it.

    This topic is priceless, thanks for bringing up all kinds of anger Forest. Of course those people who feel they have no anger are the most problematic. Superego still has a stranglehold on them. If you don't feel angry, then there's your TMS problem. You are frozen in time, unable to feel, and unaware of your emotions. People often ask me, "how do I know if I'm angry, or repressing?" That's easy. If you have no, or few symptoms, you're ok, with little conflict. If you're crippled with pain and anxiety~~~> TMS, then you are furious inside.

    Anger is not the opposite of love, fear is the opposite of love. Love is pure light and in it no error can exist.

    Steve
     
    Forest likes this.
  10. OtterMan

    OtterMan Peer Supporter

    OK i get this but how to you get rid of anger???? Or accept it and let it run its course. It seems no one can give a definite answer lol I feel really stuck with my anger as if it controls me how do i allow it, accept and let go? I'm so sick of reading books regarding TMS, self help, buddhism, yoga, mediation, anger. I needed to say that.
     
  11. Forest

    Forest Forum Administrator

    Hi OtterMan (OM?),

    What type of anger are you struggling with? Where does it come from? Giving us some idea of that will give better ideas on how to deal with it.

    Alan Gordon gave a great metaphor about emotions in his last webinar. Paraphrasing a Buddhist monk, he describes how an emotion is like a train coming in to the station. You can see it coming in and be aware of it, feeling it in your body, but you don't have to "get on the train." You can be aware of your anger without feeding it by keying yourself up. If it's there, it's there - that's fine. You don't have to let it possess you.

    But I suspect that you may already be familiar with that idea, and it may take an awful lot of time to diffuse all of your anger through that approach. You might need something a bit more powerful. For that, you might need a more powerful tool. Give a listen to the following session from our second webinar with Alan, and let me know what you think of it:
    http://tmswiki.org/dl/dustin.mp3

    I think that what he did in that segment is a great example of the idea of memory reconsolidation, as described in this post:
    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/how-do-you-work-with-it.1735/#post-9187

    Eventually, the final goal is to get past and through the anger to compassion, forgiveness, and even love, but there are different routes to that. It's not always a quick process.
     
  12. OtterMan

    OtterMan Peer Supporter

    Thank you so much. I've been having a really big anger week. To explain, i had to go on disability from my job, due to TMS, which i didnt know it was that at the time. Anyway i burned out on top of TMS, physically, mentally and spiritually, because of the job and my personal life. But i have gone through a crazy year and i feel stronger like my body is ready to move on, and now the anger is present. The anger i ran from when things got really back in my job. I have anger towards myself for staying too long in a position that abused me. Anger for my management, and anger towards certain people at work. And anger at the world in general. I went to yoga this week and allowed the anger in and went through poses and breathing with the feeling in my body, it was intense but i had no Back Pain after. I went running today and used the anger to run and it felt great. But i have trouble with the work thoughts all coming back to me and i am trying to just say in my head this is just a thought, youre worthless, they hurt you, a very sad cut off place, and i am trying to just say ok its there, its not my truth and dont be hard on yourself. So this is a different approach i am trying i guess, to not get wrapped up in the "drama" of my body or my thoughts. Not getting on the train as you put it. It seems to be giving me relief. I want to let go. But i think i need to express my anger as it comes up and not expect for body pain to leave and all of a sudden have no emotions. I think i fear or feared that if the body pain went away would i be able to deal with the root. The root being the anger, sadness, letdown, etc. And i think my mind or body has never actually felt how angry i am. And when you first understand and get to know anger you are scared. But i am not scared anymore. Do i make sense???

    Thanks for the help.
    Love.
     
  13. Fabi

    Fabi Well known member

    I al not sufre if this is the right place but I want to describe what happened yesterday. I as feeling frustrated, uncomfortable and a bit angry un the evening, so I started writing about it but couldn't get it finished, so when muy teenage son asked what as happening, since he noticed something unusual, I just told him, I am upset, I am angry, and then We had dinner together in the usual mood,and you know what happened ?I realized the pain I had been feeling all day long was gone! I don't usually tell anybody, least muy son about angry feelings, but yesterday it hppened to be a cure! This is completely new to me
     
    Forest likes this.
  14. Fabi

    Fabi Well known member

    I am sorry about typing mistakes, it´s my tablet, I can´t change the Spanish settings! I am not angry about that! :)
     

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