I hold on to anger so I can play around with it for a while. I had a discussion with my nine year old this evening. She was angry and I told her that
she had to let it go because when we're angry, it only hurts us. She's her daddy's girl, so of course it didn't sink in.
To me, anger leads to resentment. If I'm angry, rather than deny it, or stuff it, like I did for many years, I have to talk to someone about it. With
the help of someone OUTSIDE of the problem, I have to figure out what my part in it is and try to put it to rest. Sometimes when I'm angry at someone
else, I have to find out what I did wrong and apologize for that. Remembering that others are human too and prone to mistakes, helps me get rid of it
I think I agree with a previous poster that said it's about some sort of control. I have a conception of fairness and if you step across that, I get
angry. I watch my children and so often their anger seems to be designed to accomplish something. They are hoping to right a perceived injustice or to
just get their way. I don't know that most adults are any different.
Balance is the trick, IMO. I SHOULD get angry sometimes and there's nothing wrong with that. Jesus even got angry, if you want to believe those
stories. He was angry at money changers and turned over all their tables. (Jesus didn't sin, so anger must not be a sin)
Anger in itself is a natural thing. I think it's when we let it fester for days, months or years without taking any positive action that we risk
damage to ourselves. Anger, like the other fine emotions we get to play with, is an indicator for us. Like warmth, pressure, cold, taste....it's a
sense...when our anger is activated, it's an indicator that there is something that requires our action. If we choose not to address that thing,
either through careful consideration of our expectations, or our part in something, or through righting whatever the wrong is, we are setting
ourselves up for numerous ailments.
I've not met too many people that handle their anger really well. It takes work to move past it and that involves admitting weakness, lack of
control, and perhaps that we have done something that we shouldn't have. It takes work and a lot of people are just too damn lazy. Any given day, I
am as well.
It has been said that resentment is like drinking poison, expecting the OTHER person to die. I think the truth is that we hang on to anger, because we
don't know anything else. Many of us are not well equipped to deal with any of our emotions. The trouble is, if we let anger fester, it will kill us.
So, in the end, why do we hang on to anger? Because we don't know any better or choose to do any different.