“Getting it out” just gets it in
Assume I’m feeling tremendous anger towards someone I’m with as a result of something they’ve done. Do I have to express that anger? No, I can choose not to, with no harm to my mental state. I’m aware that there’s a widely accepted psychological theory that advises venting the anger in order to supposedly “get it out of your system.” I strongly disagree with this approach. It doesn’t get it out of my system. It just more firmly entrenches it in my system.
There’s a creative principle that comes into play here: “You know what you express.” If you express anger in some kind of uncontrollable rage, that’s what you know. In other words, it becomes embedded in your system and can become a habit. Also, of what possible value is it to, in effect, vomit this destructive emotion all over people and things in your environment? It destroys them and yourself.
Even anger can be transmuted
Am I suggesting that negative emotions such as anger be suppressed? Not at all. I agree that suppressing emotions can damage the personality. But I’m suggesting that the emotional energy represented by anger or any other negative emotion can be transmuted.
Being securely centred in the truth of myself and availing myself of the power of Creation, I can consciously choose to transmute any emotion, no matter how repugnant. Even vigorous anger can be transmuted and released as a blessing. The same with fear. As Jesus said, “Perfect love casts out fear.”
Once, there was a somewhat amusing incident in an elementary school classroom. The teacher addressed young Johnny: “Now, Johnny, we know that when George Washington was just a little boy, he cut down his father’s cherry tree and even admitted it to his father. Why didn’t his father punish him?”
Johnny replied, “Because George still had the axe in his hand.” We know, of course, that the real reason is that George’s father, in effect, transmuted his anger in the moment that he heard George’s honest admission, and changed that anger into love.
There may be instances when a controlled expression of anger may be just what’s needed to constructively handle a given situation. The classic example of this is Jesus driving the money changers out of the temple. The temple was a sacred space and the violation of that space occasioned a wave of anger in Jesus. But while he forcibly confronted the money changers, he was by no means controlled by anger. He simply used it as a tactic while remaining fully under the control of the Father within.