Since depression or extreme sadness are the hardest states to shift out of, we can spend today focused on understanding the value of our anger so that when we point it at our futures, we can be assured that we’re living in alignment with our character.
Maybe we read yesterday’s installment as an anti-establishment, sullen, immobile, depressed person in their 20’s who feels completely misunderstood in a world filled with people entirely unlike us.
Maybe we manifested yesterday’s exercise by researching what our musical heroes had already experienced by our age and we got inspired. Or maybe it was a high school nemesis’s gains that sparked jealousy within us, because we feared that our missing achievements and experiences would pale in comparison to theirs.
Or maybe we’re the always-down person who can habitually find a complaint about a dull and uninspiring world filled with sources of boring.
But maybe as a result of the exercise, we started looking at the lives of people entirely unlike us. What kinds of life experiences are they having? Can the differences between their lives and ours make us envious in a worthwhile way?
Do we dislike our lack of varied and rich experiences so much that it makes us mad?
Or maybe we looked at ourselves in a mirror and we fear who we saw and that makes us upset. Maybe we got angry at that image not because it was unattractive by today’s standards, but because it doesn’t even feel like us.
It does us no good to be in alignment with our era’s fad weight, if it’s still a weight that we don’t feel natural about.
Each of us will have unique ways of conjuring this anger. But however we get there, we must remember to marshal any angry energy that these thoughts have stirred. This is where thought –even comparative thought– can be valuable.
The healthy anger we feel through these comparisons is born out of a fear that our life is too small. It can conjure the sort of energy that can win sports championships and motivate many years of difficult education.
If we use anger or jealousy to motivate us out of depression, we have improved by one step on what I call The Consciousness Clarity Scale. We’re sitting up and we can see the world just a little bit better.
The next question is, no matter who we are and no matter what we’re facing, how can we channel our fearful or angry energy into something useful, rather than have it destroy us?
If the amount of energy coming into a system exceeds the capacity of the system to manage it, then something will blow, whether it’s a computer, a pipe filled with liquid, or person’s mind.
We recognize the human cases of those who’ve ‘blown’ as people who are either constantly angry; or they’ll do fearful things like suddenly leaving their career for some drastically different life.
Some will bail from their weddings at the last possible moment; or some suddenly abandon their children to the other parent for fear they are not enough. There is even those that go to jail for a crime wildly out of character all because of fears about money.
This even extends to those who go so far as to commit suicide, although their problem is that they have lost touch with the value of fear. Which begs the question: why do we feel fear?
We feel it because we value something or someone and that value is under threat. This is the very essence of the force that creates everything. It’s why we’ll even fight a bear or a tiger. We’re fighting for life itself.
Suicide can only happen when we have lost our sense of our inherent value, because our fears exist for no other reason than the universe wanted to prompt us to protect our lives because we are each the unique mirrors though which the universe sees itself.
Unfortunately, people only end up considering suicide because, up until that point, they have seen their fears as oppressive. But they can just as easily be seen as an energy source, as described above.
If we think of the body as a container for the soul, all forms of negativity are also forms of shutting down the energy we release back to the universe. When we’re depressed we’re primarily just closed and dark. No one can even tell if there is any light alive within us.
But when we start to get angry and we crack, beams of anger can slash out through streaming, piercing cracks in the walls of our sad and dark identities. That is the beginning of seeing our own light return.
Suicide is the end of our human experiences. It doesn’t solve anything so much as just ends our opportunity to have a life we would value. So to do that is to innocently and entirely misunderstand life, and meaning, and reality. The only reason we are here is to have experiences.
There is no scoreboard, no judge and no prize. We just live. It’s like the universe handed us a camera and told us to make the movie of our life. And like everyone, we start off in life trying to be serious and respected, so we focus on issues and problems and troubles because, if we can solve those, then the universe would be better. Right?
No. Because a) the ‘film-making’ itself gets depressing and life is too short, b) because it’s also arrogant for us to think that the universe didn’t already know all of those things. And c) those things still manage to form a world that has, overall, steadily improved because it always has something positive it’s working on.
If we’re only going to focus on the problems and not the solutions, then of course we’ll get depressed. So luckily, the problem isn’t with the world. It’s just that we’ve mistaken our sullen thoughts about the world, for the world.
The reason others are living more fully than we might be isn’t because they are better people. Or that they have fewer things in life that they struggle with. Or that they don’t see the world’s problems.
They’re doing better because they salve their struggles with life; with joy, and peace and an optimism that is impossible when we hide away, viewing the world as bleak and uninviting.
If we think the world is crappy, or that we’re living too small, then let’s get mad about that. Let’s fix something, or help someone, or create some joy or peace, because we need to find something to attack so that we can channel our energy into some movement through the universe.
In the end, no one needs to escape depression. We just need to start connecting with the rewarding life that we truly felt was ours, before we got depressed.
Once we have some movement and engagement with life thanks to that angry energy, we can begin to steer ourselves away from that anger and into frustration, where we can start our search for even better feelings.
Doing this represents yet another valuable emotional step upwards on the Consciousness Clarity Scale.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.