This post is about one of my main spiritual teachers, Archangel Anger.
Back when I was 21 years old, brand new to performing my music, I tried my craft at an open mike at Folk City, a Greenwich Village club where Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, and Joni Mitchell had begun their music careers. I was terrified!
For the time I had on stage, I sang an original song and also did some stand-up comedy, a form of expression I felt much safer with. When I was done, an old friend who had been in the audience said to me, “Great comedy, Scott. You should stick to the comedy, though.” I felt crushed. His comment invalidated the part of my performance that I was most hopeful and vulnerable about.
For a few days I sulked in my old story, chanting the mantra, “He’s right. I suck. Poor me.”
But eventually I busted my own pity party, with help from an Archangel called Anger. “How dare he? And how dare me for letting him steal my mojo and dampen my enthusiasm. No more! I’m going to take singing lessons and get really good at this, and one day I’ll make a beautiful recording of my songs and mail it to him with a note: “Don’t ever put a wet blanket on anyone’s dreams again!”
My anger had helped wake me out of analysis, paralysis, propelling me. out of my comfort zone and into positive action.
The next day I called up a voice teacher and made my first appointment, something I had been resisting for quite some time.
Thank God when this ‘friend’ triggered my anger, I didn’t prematurely go to my ACIM forgiveness practices. Instead listened to my anger’s deeper message, and used it as motivation to. move me through my fears where my life force wanted me to go.
Yes, anger can be a destructive emotion, but only when projected and expressed onto others with no self-reflection or self-responsibility. As an angel in disguise, anger, when we do not make ourselves wrong for feeling it, transmutes into passion, determination, and a deeper commitment to taking care of ourselves and our life purpose.
I love what Julia Cameron wrote about anger in The Artists Way:
“Anger is a map. Anger points the way, not just the finger. Anger is meant to be acted upon. It is not meant to be acted out. We are meant to use anger as fuel to take the actions we need to move where our anger points us. Anger is our friend. Not a nice friend. Not a gentle friend. But a very, very loyal friend. It will always tell us when we need stronger boundaries. It will always tell us when we have betrayed ourselves.”
I wrote a song once while I was mad as hell, walking alone on the beach at sunrise. I stomped my feet, jumped up and down, and laughed almost deliriously while writing it. What an exhilarating experience, to vent all those feelings through creative expression!
The song, Never Again, was inspired by my mother, the person who has taught me the most about standing up for myself, mostly by providing me with an abundance of opportunities to practice!