The Limits of Anger, Part 1

I consider being in serene places — where you can commune with nature and hear more clearly your own thoughts — a rare privilege. They transport me from the turmoil of the city, the dysfunction of the modern world, and the decay in our relations to a state of contentment that quiets the negative self-talk and quenches the anger away.

And as I look out into the wild and be dazzled by the red-colored earth that blankets the cloud-capped mountain range, and feel the cool breeze on my skin and in my lungs, I am grateful to be alive. I am compelled to see more broadly, to think more deeply, to feel more openly, and to share my very best with the world.

It is true that when we witness beauty we wax poetic; and nothing is more superlatively beautiful than the natural world unspoiled. It is so beautiful that it heals and nourishes deeply, beyond the marrow, all the way to the spirit. We all deserve this form of rejuvenation, and I hope you will choose to make it happen for yourself as frequently as possible.

This is what Maslow called plateau experience, a concept I try to explain in class, and now thoroughly understand not only intellectually but also viscerally. It feeds the soul such that the inspiration to write overflows. Anger is positively transformed by it: anger is channeled inwardly into self-reflection, outwardly into insight.

The product of my ‘plateau experience’-inspired self-reflection? — The insight that anger has limits; that anger is as constricting as it is liberating, that it is as corrupting as it is empowering. For these reasons, at least in my own life, I seek the ways for my anger to be contained.

In subsequent posts, I will share my own thoughts on the limits of anger. Your feedback is welcome.

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