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Losing Yourself to Anger and Blame

Anger and blame can articulate lots of good reasons about why you should continue to be angry and blameful of someone close to you.  You go round and round having images of breaking things and rehearsing the many ways you are right and he or she is wrong.

Indeed, from the perspective of anger and blame the person you directing your anger and blame toward, not only has done things wrong in the past, but continues to do and say the wrong thing often.

Even seeing them enter a room you feel yourself tighten and grimace.  The compassionate and centered you has been hijacked by a self-reinforcing pattern of anger and blame.

The part of you who values compassion and self-awareness periodically makes a plea for you to extend compassion and examine what you are doing.  But the voice of anger is loud and powerful and it's hard for the compassionate you to get a word in edge-wise.

What keeps you stuck and digging in your heels about how right you are?  It's a safe bet that behind anger and blame is hurt, fear, and/or grief.  Some part of you likely perceives that allowing yourself to feel any of these feelings will result in a long fall down a black hole of overwhelming emotion.   This part of you argues that if you feel what's there, you will fall apart and you can't afford that. It's too risky. No one will be there to catch you and you shouldn't need to be caught anyway.

Meanwhile, the person you are directing your anger and blame toward experiences the sharp hurt of being on the receiving end.  You suffer and you contribute to the suffering of another.  It's not in alignment with your values and it's painful all around.

You don't have to jump into a black hole of overwhelming emotion to start feeling what is behind your anger.  Every time you feel yourself tighten in anger and blame, you can gently turn your attention to your experience the other feelings present just a few moments at time. Then turn your attenion to the universal need that's up for you in this situation (use your needs list to identify the need).  Hold your attention just on the the need for a full minute.  As you connect to the needs behind anger and blame you will start to feel more grounded and relaxed and perhaps feel the grief of those unmet needs. 

Every moment that you choose to pause, feel your body and emotions, notice your thoughts, name your needs, and gently invite yourself to relax and breath into your center you liberate yourself from suffering and contribute  to the well-being of others.

In many ways, this simple practice is your only job in life.  The more you practice gentle centered awareness, the more your life will unfold naturally from wisdom and compassion.  Rather doing myriad things, you simply follow the unfolding.

Start small.  Just for today, let anger and blame be your cueing system.  Each time it arises, name your experience in body, emotion, and thought, name your needs, and then invite yourself to take three gentle breaths into your center.

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