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A Holistic Approach to Processing Hidden and Conscious Anger
By John A. McMullin, H.C.

Anger is an emotion from our ego that is used to express fear.  Although we project anger onto others, the issue is about the shame we feel about ourselves and is polarized around the illusion we are not enough.  Anger is a control drama expressed aggressively as intimidation or interrogation and passively as aloofness or poor me-ism.  Anger is often the expression of the adult child who feels shame of self, blame of others and guilt from others.  The process of resolution of the hidden anger is truly a journey of finding the hidden shame.  That is the reason why we deflect our shame as anger and that’s why we are rarely upset about what we think we’re upset about.

Creating A Letter of Forgiveness   

Step 1 

The first step in processing anger is to find the old anger that we hold onto to give us the illusion of feeling safe and valued.  This old anger is called resentment and while it gives us the illusion of feeling safe and valued, resentment also blocks our ability to feel our true feelings and live a functional life of loving and allowing ourselves to be loved.

Begin the process by writing a letter to another person to whom you have been intensely resentful.   Discover for yourself what resentment feels like and what part of your ego benefits by holding onto resentment.   Express why you are still resentful about your perceptions of their behavior and notice what it feels like to get in touch with that resentment.  Remember, resentment gives us the illusion of feeling safe and/or valued.  

Step 2 of writing your letter is to express why you still feel anger when you think about this person.  Write down the angry thoughts you still hold, then discover why you are still holding onto the anger and how that benefits parts of your ego to keep that anger.  Do you remember how anger was familiar in your childhood?  

Step 3 is to convert all of the angry thoughts into fearful thoughts and identify how they threaten you.  As you feel your fear, notice if you can find any shame about feeling fear. We become stuck when we’re afraid to be afraid.  

Step 4 is to identify how that fear has hurt you and has wounded various parts including the emotional, mental physical, spiritual, and intuitive parts.  Ask yourself “Am I still hurt?”  Also allow yourself to discover how your anger creates shame and your shame creates denial and denial creates fear that lets you become angry once again.   

Step 5 is about identifying your sadness from the illusion of  loss. Your sadness of losing the joyful parts of your life because you have carried so much anger.  Ask yourself if you can find the hidden shame of not being enough and somehow owing the shame of causing other people to become angry with you. Do we teach people how to treat us?  

Step 6 is the step of forgiveness of self that allows for the process of forgiving another.  Forgiveness is understanding that nothing was lost.  Forgiveness is an awareness of how we allowed the anger of another person to create fear (anger) within ourselves.  Forgiveness is acknowledging the other person as our teacher so that we can understand how we played out the 50/50 teeter-totter ego need with another human.  Forgiveness is also understanding that it is impossible to have more intense anger with another person than they had with us because our fear was their fear.  Forgiveness is understanding without surrendering our own values and therefore our healthy limits and boundaries.  Forgiveness is understanding, not approving.  

Step 7 is about expressing gratitude for the lessons learned along the path of growing wisdom from the experience of anger.  Allow your self to write down as many lessons that you perceive and that you have learned from this experience.  Anger can be a powerful motivator.  What makes anger paralyzing is when we’re angry about anger.   

Step 8 allows for celebration by sharing the lessons you learned with the person you were angry with or with other people.  

Step 9 includes writing yourself a letter from the other person you used to hold anger with. Allow them to express their acknowledgement our your letter written to them and let them express their point of view about the lessons they have also learned from your sacrifice of carrying old resentment.  Notice how it feels to write this letter from them to you.  There are many benefits to reading this letter out loud to others.  

As the resentment turns to anger, anger to fear, fear to hurt, hurt to sadness, sadness to acknowledgement, acknowledgement to understanding and understanding to gratitude, then we can celebrate the Journey of Wisdom and bring closure to the anger drama within ourselves that we have projected onto other people or vice versa.   


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