Hey Dana,

I’ve become aware that I am angry all the time. I am upset to discover this about myself. What is anger in the spiritual world?


First of all, thank you for submitting a question! Really good question, too! Know this, anger management is not just for Charlie Sheen and me. The whole world is in anger mode right now—it’s hard not to be angry.

The good news is that you are aware of your emotional state. Ironically, most angry people, are not aware that they are angry. Being aware of our anger means that we are awakening.

Now would be a good time to share the paradox of enlightenment, which is, just because we see reality more clearly doesn’t mean things are getting worse. It’s actually the opposite. If you can witness your pain, you can heal it. As we awaken, we perceive that we see and feel more, and it scares us.

So please don’t be upset that you’ve discovered you’re angry. As a former angerholic, I can say that you are on your way to a more peaceful place. When we can witness ourselves doing anything, we have awareness, and awareness means that healing has begun. The “witness” is the real you.

In spiritual terms, anger is the manifestation of unaddressed pain of the past taking on a role that feels justifiable in your mind. These roles are critic, victim, villain, or judge. It’s a way of justifying our painful mind/body state—pain that we refuse to address, except by blaming others.

Angers roots are in active self-denial (unconsciousness). Basically, “I’m mad at everyone because I’m not doing my thing.” The reason we are mad at others is because we shut off our wisdom for them and now we resent them.

Anger is the coping skill we develop to keep everyone else away because we would like to stay in self-denial, to stay hidden. The reality is that if you connect with people in meaningful ways, all your anger will unravel very quickly, and then you would have to do your thing.

I noticed you said you were “angry all the time.” Now you know why. We almost have to be to stay blocked. As a spiritual teacher, all I do all day long is break down anger barriers, and as quickly as I do, they morph into more or less quieter forms of anger (rage, frustration, verbal and passive aggression, judgement, and snark). So we learn about finding gaps between the angry spaces of the mind.

The pain and powerlessness of anger and the many forms into which it morphs is ultimately your body talking to you and your refusing to listen by keeping your mind so busy it can never hear the body. Our mind is divorced from our body, so to speak. Just as your body tells you when to eat and when to drink, you are designed to know all you wish to know. Anger means “I am blocking.”

So if you would like some help with your anger, here are a few tips that worked for me!

Step 1: I will not aim my anger at anyone or any cause. This action will keep you karmically neutral, meaning, ‘I’m not going to do or say anything that eventually I will have to forgive myself for.’ A healthier posture is simply to say, ‘I’m upset and uncomfortable,’ and then allow yourself to get safe and supported. Anger’s main goal is to keep people away. You can preemptively honor this and give yourself some safety from others.

Step two: Find professional support beings to help you that are outside your normal world. You must find support that knows how tricky the mind can be because most really bright people on the road to consciousness will take their anger and put it toward an important cause—this is moral outrage (which is still rage). When we try to solve a problem from an angry place, we only perpetuate it. To fight the gun lobby is to strengthen it and to strengthen your anger. Get it? We can’t find peace by fighting enough, or by taking a side and making someone wrong. Moral outrage is just more highly educated, sneaky anger.

You can’t get angry enough to discover love, resolve, joy, or power.

Meditation, therapy and exercise can teach you how to change the state of mind/body and heal your relationships and do your thing!

Step 3: Once you find truthful support, only get real with these people  for a while. Every conversation with others is about keeping the conversation light and on topic so that rants are discouraged and we can re-frame our relationships. We can love people without talking about hard things. Give yourself permission to stay safe and neutral with the people that you typically engage in charged discussions.

Thank you again for your great question! I hope my answer helps!

Okay, more questions. Bring them on! And thank you for supporting the blog.