Some time ago I heard the expression: “Every Upset is a Set Up.” Sure, that makes sense, I thought. But I didn’t give it much more consideration. I witness anger in most mediations that I conduct and consider it (aka ‘venting’) a normal part of the mediation process. Not much more.
It wasn’t until I read Suzy Miller’s post on the Divorce without Dishonor list (a Linked In Group) that I realized: Yes, anger can mask a host of deeper emotions. And until we appreciate the effect anger can impose on us, it is likely to endure….for years. Here’s what Suzy wrote:
“…I list Anger as one of the natural phases that we go through in a break up. It acts as a barrier to the next stage – Pain! It’s hard to let go of something that will take you to a place you don’t want to go, so it makes sense that so many people stay stuck in anger (with horrible consequences to themselves and their families) because they fear what will happen if they let go and move on.
“Doing the pain is part of the healing, and can be far less horrible if you create a support network around you and seek out inspiration – a key ingredient for moving forwards – because when you are stuck in anger it’s hard to imagine that there is a better world waiting for you to step into.”
While Suzy wrote this for divorcing couples, I believe it has universal application.
I am now examining all of my ‘angers,’ peering behind each. What I see are words unspoken, pain postponed, and disappointments unreconciled.
Suzy’s suggestion of a support group, especially for us elders going through the shifts imposed on us by aging, makes sense. Sharing the load with others in our situation may empower us to traverse anger and move on to the calm waters of healing.
[Suzy Miller is a UK-based divorce planner who developed Divorce in a Box. She helps people navigate their way through divorce in order to protect the children, save money, and stay out of court. Check her out at http://www.startingovershow.us/divorce-in-a-box-ribbon-is-optional.]