I have begun observing my anger and one of the things that I have noticed is that it rises when I perceive, what to me, is an unjust situation.
Most of us are offended, indeed angered, by injustice. And it has become fashionable to argue that anger can be used effectively; that in a sense, the end (justice) justifies the means (anger). But let us examine this situation carefully.
When we are angry, as a result of an unjust situation, (or any other situation for that matter), and when we decide to take action, what is it that actually drives our action? Is it the unfair situation that we find ourselves or someone else in? Or is it our desire, indeed, our demand that justice be delivered in exchange for our anger? Chances are that whilst the unjust situation may have been the initial trigger, it quickly assumes a secondary role as anger bubbles over furiously!
Imagine, for a moment, if upon our awareness of an unjust situation, the warm light of love and compassion was lit up within us, instead of the flames of anger. How would we respond? Would we still demand justice? What would we exchange it for? If we said love, then could we still claim to love ‘unconditionally’ as many of us think we do, or aspire to? Is it in fact, wise to demand justice in the manner some cultures exhort us to?
The light of love illuminates much that is in darkness, including our own fears, prejudices, intolerance and doubts. In so doing, it offers us the opportunity to examine our motives and free them from these obscurations. When we are certain that our motives are pure, then we are able to be creative and open in our response. And such a response will clearly not require anger to drive it!
You will not be punished for your anger,
you will be punished by your anger.
Lucy Lopez mentors and facilitates retreats and workshops in Personal and Spiritual growth and Integrated Healing.