INTERESTING FUEL

I have been pondering one of the quotes from Mark Twain:
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

When I was still working as a therapist, I had more than one client do an exercise with me:
List all the ways you could use a can of gasoline, good, bad and indifferent…

One client and I came up with about 17 possibilities.  Here are some examples:
Put it in the gas tank of your car so you can go places
mow the lawn
take tar off the truck
sell it and have a little spending money
set yourself on fire (not such a great use, eh!)
kill the lawn (okay, not so desirable either.)
Store it for years

Anger is a fuel.  Often, we use it destructively, because we take it out on others, we direct it at ourselves or stuff it.
Many of us are afraid of anger because it has been weaponized; turned into nuclear fuel by parents or others in power.  There are studies out now, showing that yelling is more hurtful to children than a spanking.
Used well, it is a terrific fuel.  Anger is what motivates us to set wrong things right.   It’s when we encounter and injustice and say, “I have to do something about that!”
Like all other emotions, anger is energy.  It comes in various forms and degrees from annoyance to outrage.
Anger that has been allowed to sit for a long time turns into pain.  It can make us ill, contribute to things like arthritis, ruin relationships and keep us from realizing dreams.
Many of us have been taught that anger is bad.  That’s not really true.  It, like all other emotions has value.  In itself, it is neutral, merely and indicator light, much like the ones in your car.  It’s what you do with it that makes it positive or not.

My pastor made an interesting comment one day:
“People say that emotions are the caboose on the train, if they allow them on board at all.  I say they are the fuel block behind the engine, because they give us energy.”
Well put.

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2 thoughts on “INTERESTING FUEL

  1. This’s very well put. I’ve heard it said that becoming angry with someone is like eating poison yourself and hoping they’ll die – isn’t going to happen. Another good quote I’ve read: ‘There’s a point at which anger stops being a healthy emotion and becomes a driving force. Like a drug, you need larger and larger doses. Once that happens, you move even further from forgiveness, because without anger you’ve no energy at all. It’s what drives Hate Groups and Extremists. Without bitterness they’ve no reason to exist. if you take bigotry from the racist, revenge from the zealot and chauvinism from the sexist, what’s left? Keep up the interesting writing.

    • Well said. Thanks for commenting.
      One point you bring up is that of bitterness: The result of unforgiveness.
      I hadn’t really thought about anger being such a drug and driving for hate groups and extremists, but yeah, I agree. I would even go so far as to say that anger has become their identity.
      Hannah

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