Anger is just an aggressive form of fear.
One of the surest ways to be heard, but not actually listened to is to speak or act out of anger. While anger may sometimes result in the behavior we want from others in the short term, it has little ability to actually change their hearts and minds in our favor. Using anger as leverage to get what we want is a short-term and short-sighted solution to the real problem which is actually our own fear.
What we really want in our lives is a sense of control over our destinies, and to be loved and supported in our pursuit of that which we most desire. It is when we feel powerless over our own fates and when we feel unloved, unheard, unseen, and unsupported in who we are and what we want that we are most susceptible to feeling angry toward the people or circumstances we perceive as blocking our path or abandoning us along the way. It is this fear of being alone and unloved that is at the root of our anger, but we cannot resolve our anger until we address our fear and, if we want to be useful, effective, and capable of positive change in our lives and the world, that is exactly what we must do.
If we can recognize and admit that our anger is really a manifestation of fear, we begin to see that managing our lives around that which angers us will produce only superficial results at best. When we begin to dig deeper to the root causes of our fear, we can start to address those aspects of our lives that make us feel insecure about ourselves, our status, our futures. By looking inward in this way, we begin to understand that other people are neither where the problem starts nor where the solutions to those problems lie.
Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.
All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.
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