Are You Indulging in an Anger Power Pout?
Recently, I listened to a podcast of Caroline Myss’ internet radio show on www.Hayhouseradio.com . A woman called in to say that she had been injured in an automobile accident several years ago from which she had never fully recovered. She wanted Caroline to help her determine why she wasn’t healing.
After listening to the woman’s story for a few moments, Caroline asked the caller to explain why she was still feeling like a victim with regard to the accident. The woman said that she had worked very hard to make it through graduate school and that it was all taken away from her when the accident happened. She also stated that she never realized that she thought of herself as a victim until Caroline asked her that question. Caroline ascertained, and the caller agreed, that she (the caller) was angry because the life she had planned for herself ceased to exist when she was injured in the accident. Not only that, but the woman had spent the years since the accident being angry and resentful toward her current life circumstance because it wasn’t what she had planned for herself. As they talked, Caroline explained to her caller, that the anger and resentment she had been carrying for the last several years was the root of her physical ailments. She told the caller that by refusing to accept that her past life was gone and by being unwilling to accept her present reality, she was keeping herself stuck. Caroline called the woman’s behavior an “anger power pout”.
Life happens to all of us. If we hang around on this earth long enough, something is bound to occur in our lives that we think is unjust. Similar to the woman who called Caroline’s radio show, many of us seem to believe that crappy stuff shouldn’t happen to us.
Think about it…according to statistics, about 22 percent of married people are unfaithful to their spouse. More than 3 million people are injured in car accidents in the USA every year. Why should some other woman be cheated on, but not me? Why should someone else get injured in a car accident instead of me? Where do we get the idea that we are so special that nothing bad should ever happen to us? Maybe the question we should ask ourselves is “why NOT me?”. That doesn’t mean we have to like everything that happens to us or excuse inappropriate behavior from others. Stuff happens to everyone. No one person is more special than anyone else. No one gets a “free pass” from pain or suffering in this world.
When we believe that nothing bad should ever happen to us, it makes it extremely difficult for us to get past challenging circumstances when they come our way. We waste our time ranting about how unfair something is and as a result, we stay stuck in the past, unable to let it go or accept what is and move one. When we stop expecting life to be fair, we can move past things more quickly and with less emotional stress.
Another idea to consider is how do we know whether or not the situation we label as “bad” is really a bad thing? I’ve experienced several situations in my life that at the time they ocurred, were very distressing, but when I looked back on those situations later, I could see the blessings that came out of them. Maybe we should not be so quick to automatically label anything good or bad.
I will leave you with these questions to consider. Is there a circumstance in your life that you are angry, depressed or feeling victimized by? Are you indulging in an anger power pout? What action could you take today to either improve the situation or remove it from your life completely? If there is something you can do, then take the first step and take control of your life. If there is no action you can take, then perhaps you have some acceptance work to do. Start by asking yourself if your resistance to the situation is working for or against you. If you decide that your resistance is working against you, look for one or two ways that accepting things for what they are might benefit you. It’s your choice. Continue to be angry and resentful, sad and victimized or make a decision to look for the blessings that will come to you when you stop resisting and start accepting.
We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses. ~ Carl Jung