Accepting Our Anger and Fear

When a mother working in the kitchen hears the cries of her baby, she puts anything she is holding down and goes to the room of the baby, picks the baby up and holds the baby dearly in her arms. We do exactly the same thing when the seed of anger and fear manifest in us; our fear, our anger is our baby. Let us not try to suppress and to fight our fear and our anger. Let us recognize its presence; let us embrace it tenderly like a mother embracing her baby.” ~

Thich Nhat Hanh

Colby and Nathan waiting to ride the Jackc Rabbit Aug 25, 2012

I like this saying by Thich Nhat Hanh. . .how very true it is.  The harder we fight our anger, anxiety, or fear it seems the anger, anxiety and fear take a deeper grip on our minds and souls.

Learning is a good thing. I learned something from my 5 year old grandson Colby last week.  He was playing a Wii game with his 4 year old cousin Nathan.  Colby didn’t want to share playing a game with Nathan.  I said, “Colby, Nathan is your guest here at your house, why not share and play the game Nathan would like to play.  He came all this way to see you.”  Colby kind of balked so I said this: “Colby if you don’t share with him I’m just gonna have to come over there and give you a great big Kiss!!!”

Oh the look on Colby’s face when I threatened him with a big kiss. . .y’know, boys at that age are a bit funny about that stuff.  Sooo, when Colby didn’t share right away and after some cajoling with him, he finally relented and shared the game.  Since it took him so long to comply I told him he was gonna get a big kiss from me when that game was over.

OK, long way to get to the point ~ when I chased down a giggling Colby it took a massive grip and hold on him to give him that big kiss.  I kissed him all over his face and he giggled and giggled even though he struggled mightily to get free.

For me, the harder we struggle against the anger, the frustrations and anxiety of our lives, the deeper the anger or fear grips us and won’t let go. It causes a wounded spirit and after a period of time that wound festers and causes despair and deep anger at everyone.

Now I’m not saying we should be happy about our difficulties, whatever they may be, I am saying that perhaps the best weapon is to just let them be for a little time.  Embrace the anger, fear, grief and allow yourself to feel the emotion.  Feeling the emotion and doing something about it are two different things. It’s ok to feel the anger, it is NOT ok to go out and punch out the one who made you angry.  See the difference?  I can feel my anger, I can accept that I am angry, then I sit quietly with my anger and have a conversation with it.  You heard me right. . .you sit with your anger (or any other emotion) and have a discussion with it.

Find out why you are angry, fearful, depressed, etc. and talk it out.  Some of us like to write it out.  Writing is a great vehicle to releasing the emotion and embracing the peace.  You don’t have to be a great writer.  You don’t have to let anyone else see it.  This is between you, your emotion and God.  These are important exercises in embracing and then releasing these emotions that are giving you such a hard time.

Grace flows from an open heart. . .open your heart AND your emotions to God.  And in the meantime, do what you can do to just let them be. . .you will find that after an honest discussion about what may be causing the distress and taking time to be still, you will find peace.  It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

You don’t have to be happy about your emotions, but, you can learn mighty things from them.  Keep an open heart and an open mind and you will learn many wonderful things about yourself.

Sandy Ozanich (c)

17 thoughts on “Accepting Our Anger and Fear

  1. You are a person of wisdom, Sandy….
    Embrace the anger, fear, grief and allow yourself to feel the emotion ….have a conversation with your anger or any otehr strong negative emotion ….there is an important difference between acknowledging your emotions, having a converesation with them and acting out on them…. thank you

  2. Thank you for your insight. Modern society marks as taboo anything that is inconvenient, like anger and fear. Nobody is supposed to have those kinds of feelings, so we end up not acknowledging our anger and fear, which is still there anyway and on top of it we feel guilt about those feelings. If one just thinks that nature created everything for a reason, this must include also anger and fear. Anger, fear, pain, emptiness, sickness, grief… they are all there to teach us something about ourselves and the world.

    • Thank you for “your” insight as well. You are correct, when anger, fear, frustration is not acknowledged guilt does set it, big time. Just one more thing that gets tangled in our hearts and souls and causes more trouble. I believe as well that these emotions are there to teach us about ourselves and ultimately about our soul.

      I appreciate the time you took to respond and welcome to my blog.

      SandyO

  3. I am a social worker, well that is I recently graduated with my BSW and am yet looking for employment, and have heard (and even found myself advising others to) “embrace your emotions; embrace your struggle; embrace your weakness” many times from my social work professors and mentors. When I read this I thought “Aha, Sandy must be a social worker too!” – as if only social workers could hold this wisdom!! 🙂 Haha! Yet, I had to ask if you have any social work connections!? 🙂 And thanks for sharing your wisdom, thoughts, and experiences on this blog. I came upon it after seeing your comment on Heather King’s recent shirtofflame blog post, and after reading a few of your own posts on here have decided you have a lot to offer the world – thanks for doing so through your writing!! It’s a blessing!!

    • Hi Alicia Rae,
      Sorry to have taken so long to respond. Thank you for your very kind words. Actually I am not a social worker, I think I missed my calling. . .however I do work in a Monastery here in Pittsburgh, St. Paul of the Cross Monastery and I am a Lay Associate with the community.

      I can only credit my growing up as good lessons to learn on how to accept the pain, struggle, and frustrations that living can bring. There have been so many tragedies in my life, it may take a book to explain them. . .hmmm, I actually am thinking on the possibility.

      I wish you all the best with your BSW and I do hope you find good, meaningful work. I don’t have any social work connections unfortunately, but I believe that something will come your way very soon.

      May God’s finest blessings be yours,
      Sandy Ozanich

  4. What a wonderful message. Once we acknowledge we can’t control everything in life, and learn to control our response to those things, life becomes much more tolarable.

    • Thank you for your kind words about Accepting our fear and anger. And tonight I must follow my own words
      on this. I am dealing with a situation right now with a woman who is making life uncomfortable for a few
      members of our choir and it annoys me to no end. Therefore, I am trying to keep a smart head on my shoulders
      in response.

      I am confident that the right words will come at the right time, but not tonight.

      May you be blessed,
      SandyO

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