ANNA PEARSE not only learns to deal with anger but also discovers the art of using it as a tool for self-development.
Integration has been an important word to me lately. How to use what we gain through meditation to affect the changes that are needed for us to become fully human? I would like to share what seems like a very elementary step in my evolution as a human being, but very real and radical to me nonetheless.
I had been experiencing a wonderful stillness in meditation and had been giving myself the time after meditation to really savor this feeling and integrate it into my body and mind, using writing as an aid in this process. I carried this stillness into my days. It was the darkest time of the year and the stillness within seemed to be in tune with the stillness of nature.
One evening, however, I was on the phone with a member of my family and I suddenly found myself in the grips of anger. It was triggered by a message she passed on to me from another member of my family. First of all disappointment rose to the surface, and then anger. It felt as though anger had taken possession of my body and mind and there was no room for anything else.
I started to express my anger on the phone and slowly realized that this wasn’t the way to deal with it. I had to use it to move myself on without entangling anybody else in it.
What followed was 12 hours of fire raging through me. I recognized early on my habitual reactions: “I shouldn’t be feeling like this after so many years of meditation …” followed by lengthy selfjustification. And still the fire raged.
At some stage in the process there was an understanding that this is fire, and then a linking of this to the Heartfulness teaching – only recently grasped – that the elements of earth, ether, fire, water and air are all contained within the Heart Region. As part of our inner journey in this life we need to experience them and work with them in order to master them and move on in our development. I remembered also that anger can be a pure emotion showing us what needs to change and that it can play a purifying role in our development when it is not be directed towards another person.
Somehow these simple tools allowed me to work through this patiently, giving it time. Feeling the elemental nature of the process was a wonderful thing. Fire! It was a natural force within that could be utilized! So I felt it, saw it and observed it, without judgment.
Somehow these simple tools allowed me to work
through this patiently, giving it time. Feeling the
elemental nature of the process was a wonderful
thing. Fire! It was a natural force within that
could be utilized! So I felt it, saw it and observed
it, without judgment.
I recognized that in the past anger had triggered a circular process that led nowhere. “I shouldn’t be feeling this way” unleashed all sorts of complexities including self-justification, sorrows from the past, resentment. And then it would arrive back at, “But I shouldn’t be feeling this way. …” I was also aware when the cold and distancing emotion of resentment tried to assert itself that it was healthier to stay in the heat of the fire. Before sleep I tried to clean myself using the Heartfulness method, but it wasn’t finished yet. I fell asleep finally and woke after a few hours. It was still there so I continued to allow it to run its course, using writing as a tool to express it and to help it keep moving on. A part of the anger was that I felt I had never been allowed to express myself fully. So writing was a good tool.
Slowly I realized that the fire was passing; it had run its course. And what was left? Love. Love for myself and for my sister – the two protagonists in this human drama. And love for those who have given me these tools to clean, soften and nourish the heart and then to apply the understanding with love to affect real and lasting change, which will enable me eventually to be all that I can be.
Article by ANNA PEARSE