Anger is one of the emotions that I have found most difficult to deal with in the past. I grew up in a house where anger was handled in ways that I found very frightening, leading me to become very afraid of conflict. This meant that I made a decision fairly early on in life that anger was a "bad" emotion that I should suppress at all costs. I became very ashamed of anybody knowing when I was angry.
I ended up internalising a lot of rage and unhappiness. I just didn't know how to let anger go and how to get it out of my system. It wasn't until the last few years that I even realised just how angry I was deep down.
I now know that anger is not "bad" emotion; it's just a signal that our needs aren't getting met. Anger provides energy for us to act assertively in situations where people are treating us in ways we don't like. If we've learned to be passive in the face of our anger, that energy gets trapped in our nervous system.
Because I have many years of internalising my anger, the situations where I would have liked to act assertively have long passed. Yet I'm still carrying that anger in my nervous system.
So the question becomes: How to let it go?
I've recently taken up music and one of the mates that I jam with regularly said to me: "You channel your emotions into your creativity, and then let it go."
With that in mind, I recently recorded my own version of a song whose lyrics I really relate to: Angry Young Man by Billy Joel. It's a little rough given that's my first effort, but here it is:
I played all the instruments myself. For other muso's who might be interested equipment I used:
- Lexicon Alpha desktop recording studio USB interface
- Audacity recording/editing software
- Yamaha PSR–295 electronic keyboard
- Fender Stratocaster (the coolest electric guitar in the universe)
- Joyo American pedal that simulates a Fender guitar amp.
- Boss Super Octave OC–3 octaver pedal (I played the Bass track on the Stratocaster too)
- Shure SM 58 vocal microphone.
- Roland TD11KV electronic drum kit.
- These drum sticks: