Anger, powerlessness and health Pt. 1

September 1st, 2014





My life is in the hands of any fool who makes me lose my temper”

– Joseph Hunter




This is a subject that has been looked at from several angles in the Monday Conscious Health blog. I was talking with a friend yesterday where several questions and observations about the issues surrounding anger, how it affects the body and what to do about it were discussed. It seemed like a good time to revisit and update the thorny issue of anger, powerlessness and health.


Original source unknown

Original source unknown



Before we get into some specific questions it may be time for a quick refresh about the relationship between anger and personal power.




Anger is the result of feeling powerless



Many think anger is a powerful emotion when actually it comes from a feeling of powerlessness. Anger is an attempt to reclaim power after we have lost it – or, more tellingly, given it away.


Anger is an emotion expressing impotence and frustration. It is the person yelling after the thief running away with their valued possessions. It is the bark of the little dog feeling challenged and threatened by everything. One could even say it is an attempt to raise the ‘frequency’ of fear in order to transcend it.



So, with this in mind, here is a simple exercise:



The next time you feel anger, rage or frustration instead of identifying as angry state the real facts to yourself:



“I am feeling so powerless right now!”



This will prove very useful in directing the search for a solution inwards (where we have the only power to change it) instead of outwards into blame and recrimination – which only further solidifies our powerless position. Once we have done that the next question may (or not) be obvious:



“Why/how am I feeling powerless?”



I’m so glad you asked…



We (unconsciousnessly) give away power



This may come as a surprise to many of us who find ourselves stuck in conflict where we feel bullied or pushed around by the will of others. It may appear to have nothing to do with us and we will identify as innocent victims of other’s failings.





What we have not noticed is that long before these situations arose we had already given away our power in one or more of the following ways:



  • In our identity as a powerless victim of others – something that existed long before the current situation arose.
  • In our thoughts and assumptions – we assume that a situation is a certain way and don’t consider we could choose to see it differently.
  • In our emotions – we get caught in fear or we associate standing our ground and respecting our integrity as being selfish, egoistic or even hurtful to others and therefore shrink away from it.
  • In our actions – we pre-emptively (and of course unconsciously) weaken our position without even being asked or pressured to do so while rationalizing our actions as the consequence of being a ‘good’ or ‘kind’ person.



All of these have a common root. What we want is not given much power (or worse, the question is not even asked) while what others want is given a disproportionately high priority. This sequence of internal events has its own roots in low self-esteem.



Low self-esteem is the sabotaging leak of personal power and integrity.


© The artist.

© The artist.



An uncomfortable truth in the law of attraction



The Self is always trying to evolve and know itself. To this end it attracts and creates situations that will bring up to awareness that which was previously unconsciousness (or only semi-consciousness). In other words we do not only attract and create through conscious intention. We create unconsciously as well. We usually experience these creations as resistance and discomfort.



How does the Self attempt to achieve its goal of self-awareness? By attracting to us people and situations that will highlight that gap in consciousness. For example if we have an issue about money and self-nourishment we will constantly find ourselves battling money issues. If we have issues in our sexuality we will find ourselves constantly confronted by them and so on.



So too, if we have issues of personal integrity, power and boundaries nothing will be more certain than we will attract people and situations to us that will test that out within us till we patch up the leak and stand unashamedly in our power.





Power is not given, it is taken



As always the relationship with ourself determines and instructs the relations others have with us. If we cannot give ourselves power no one else will either. This is not cruelty or insensitivity from others – although it may appear that way. They are just instinctively following our lead. This usually happens at an unconscious level.1



Therefore it is up to us and no one else to take back and maintain personal power. If this seems unfair then how fair can it be for us to demand that others respect us more than we respect ourselves? We have to set the example. We will not be given personal power. We have to claim it as our right.





Assumptions: The Mother of All…



Assumptions, by their very nature, are unconscious. This is where the Self steps in to create and attract some of the above scenarios. The discomfort that they cause forces us, sooner or later2 to rethink our assumptions instead of repeating our mistakes and hoping for a new result while blaming others.



It is those assumptions that make us leak power. For example, we may assume that just because someone wants something from us and tries to convince us it is our responsibility to satisfy that desire that we must then do so.



This can only happen if we forget ourselves, our integrity and our boundaries. It is also why we attract the very people and situations that are very good at making us forget ourselves and focus on them instead. This is why every situation in life is a potential to strengthen our relationship with the Self.



Methods like:


  • Emotional blackmail (“I will feel bad if you don’t do what I want.”)
  • Intimidation (“Who do you think you are to say no!” or: ”I will leave/abandon/reject you”)
  • Co-dependent behavior (“I don’t recognize you anymore!” – subtext: “Why can’t I manipulate you like I used to?”)


– are merely there to test that we are water tight (or not) in our integrity in these areas.




Slipping punches


The meridian systems in traditional Chinese medicine involving anger, power and integrity are the Liver and Gall Bladder. They are known as the Warrior/General and the Minister of Justice respectively.



These meridians transverse the sides of the body. They determine how we twist to offset and deflect directly confronting forces as well as deciding a shift in direction of our own force and intention.



Boxers learn all about how to use the strength of these meridians early in their training. Efficient use of this energy means they can stay within range of their opponent and stand their ground while disarming and deflecting the blows coming at them.



This is done by twisting the body at side to side angles presenting a narrow, angular target. In boxing parlance it is called slipping punches. There are lessons here for other types of confrontation:



  • We do not need to lose our center in a conflict and get sucker punched into other people’s drama. We will only present a wide, front on target that is easy to damage – figuratively speaking at least.
  • Likewise we do not need to run away and give all the space to the more aggressive person. That will only ‘teach’ them how to bully and manipulate us more in the future.







The integrity of the Warrior is to stand their ground, fully in their power. When we do this for the first time we may be surprised. After perhaps an initial period of ‘testing’ of our resolve suddenly the power balance begins to shift and we are given more respect without seemingly having done anything. What we have done though is set an example for others to follow.




Power shifts



What may also be suprising is how we will sometimes find ourselves sabotaging our own progress in this area. Old, unconscious habits die hard. It is not uncommon to revisit the ‘devil we know’. Most forms of growth are spiral in nature – from a thumb print to a whirling galaxy or even the folds of the developing brain we usually find ourselves revisiting old areas – albeit with a new perspective.


“I thought I had dealt with this already!” is a common complaint when our old lessons come around for review. What is really happening is we have progressed up a level of consciousness and now have a higher standard about how we wish to be and act.


Just a taste of our past behavior then seems doubly painful as we have become used to a more skillful way of being. This is a good sign however as it highlights how far we have come. It just means we have to tighten up some of the more subtle gaps in consciousness where we are leaking personal power and compromising our integrity.



Otherwise, any fool can make us lose our temper. As the old saying goes:



”Never argue with a fool. It only confuses people.”






Till we never need to look back in anger on another Monday




Stay tuned next week when we will look at the physical toll anger can take on the body both in the short and longer term.


1 And this is the Consciousness Health blog

2 After all, eternity is a long time


© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated or if the original source is unknown at the time of writing. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation:

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