Compassionate Wrath

Excerpts from: Compassionate Wrath: Transpersonal Approaches to Anger, essay by Robert Augustus Masters (2008).   http//

A woman marooned from her anger is very likely going to have much harder time maintaining healthy boundaries; she will tend to feel more helpless, more fearful, more prone to despair and depression.

When anger cannot be depressed – kept or pressed down – its energies may be routed into resentment or bitterness.  Anger can be a form of caring.  Anger can cut through the cognitive muddling and emotional dissociation of her partner or others, waking them up to what they’re actually doing.

For anger actually to be a resource in relationship requires not only that it be permitted its innate vulnerability, but that it also be valued, and valued equally, in both women and men.  So long as female anger is treated as something less worthy of respect than male anger, relational approaches to anger will remain superficial or unproductive.

Anger is legitimate, useful, and necessary in building and maintaining better connection in relationships.

A woman expressing non-abusive rage is no murderess, psycho, or Medusa gone into isolation, but rather a potent awakener, the power of which is present to varying degrees in “everyday” women whose anger is significantly infused with caring.

A woman who is out of touch with her anger is a woman who cannot stand her ground or give full voice to her needs, a woman who cannot sufficiently protect the little girl in her, a woman whose love lacks the guts needed to manifest real integrity.

Taking back the power that originally was given away in order to survive difficult conditions involves expressing, fully expressing, what has been held back because of fear, insecurity, and social pressures.

Part of what is needed is reclaiming of anger, so that it becomes a resource, a guardian of boundaries, a potent catalyst for needed change.

Anger asks for a mindful embrace that does not necessarily require any dilution of passion, any lowering of the heat, nor any muting of the essential voice in the flames.

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