The USA just celebrated 50 years since Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his inspiring and transformative “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington DC.
This iconic man, through his power of vision and word, rocked the trajectory of human ideals and shifted millions into a new dimension of awareness, hope and equality.
He is an exemplar of how anger has the power to make you strong.
Some anger weakens you (See When Anger Weakens You (Part 1) and (Part 2)). These angers are unreasonable, marked by guilt, accumulative, long lasting and destructive. They also exist — as we discuss on the DSM website — within the small range of expression that keeps taboos intact and dangerous in a system.
Anger that makes you strong, on the other hand, is an important alternative to the kinds of anger that most people default to, most of the time. Anger that makes you strong is fundamental to the mission of DSM: to live beyond the forbidden and taboo.
Here are a few of the key ways that you can recognize Anger That Makes You Strong:
- It is short-lived and dissolves when it has achieved its goal.
- It is rooted in the expression of “Essential Values”, which go to the Heart of who you are and a willingness to change Self rather than an attempt to change others. It leads to expressing higher human values such as freedom, human rights and justice.
- It is an appropriate reaction and acts to promote and create clear and healthy boundaries within relationships. It protects and respects your right to speak your own truth, to be understood, and to be cared for, even when you are disagreed with.
- It is channeled into creative expression through art, music or written word.
- It creatively transforms limited beliefs and points of view into new insights that lead to personal empowerment. An example is how Gandhi was able to transform anger through “the force, which is born of Truth and Love”.
“Opponents confront us continually, but actually there is no opponent there. Enter deeply into an attack and neutralize it as you draw that misdirected force into your own sphere.”
~Morihei Ueshiba, Aikido Master and Founder
Individuals such as King, Gandhi and Ueshiba knew that leading a movement meant they had to transform and direct the energy of anger.
Here are some reminders to help you practice turning Anger into personal empowerment:
- It’s okay to get angry, so give yourself permission to feel your feelings without judgment or blame.
- Your anger is a signal that something is going on for you. Give yourself some space so that you can discover what it is.
- Immediate anger lets you know that a line has been crossed and your Essential Values are being compromised.
- Through your power of values, vision and creativity, the force of anger can be harnessed and directed toward your higher ideals.
What is most important is that you begin to build an awareness of the difference between Anger That Weakens You and Anger That Make You Strong.
Include anger in your quest to Let Life Live Through You.
We are quite certain your sense of personal empowerment, presence and purpose is sure to grow.