What makes you angry?

In our quest to find our calling in life, we are often invited to look at what moves us. What makes us happy? What do we enjoy most doing? What do we love most being? What do we feel at home with? To pay attention to what ticks us – the intense ‘positive’ feelings that may indicate where our passion lies.

As with any other things in life, there is the flip side of such intense feelings. Feelings such as anger, frustration and sadness, are in truth just as intense and can be just as indicative of our passion.

Take anger for instance. Let’s go back a bit to our experiences and look at our patterns in life. What is it that makes us angry? What is it that — whenever we see it, we experience it or simply hear about it — raises our heart beat, boils our blood and makes us want to stand up and stop what’s going on?

For some, it can be whenever we see poverty, when we see children being mistreated or abandoned, when we see nature being destructed, or the overuse of plastics, or when art is being under-rated, or animal being abused, or colleagues being unprofessional, or people who keep mulling over their sad lives without doing a thing about it, or children being deprived of their childhood or education.

Spend a minute or two, or three and see. It is actually very telling that whatever it is, is precious to us. Whatever underlies the situation that makes us angry signifies a value that we hold so dear in our heart — and perhaps is worth fighting for in our life.

Seane Corn, an internationally-renown yoga teacher and co-founder of Off the Mat, Into the World movement, once said in an interview to look at whatever brought us to the (yoga) mat, for it may indicate our calling.

She’s so spot on. Those intense feelings, not just the positive ones, are our soul’s way of telling ourselves about our true nature and where we ought to go.

Those are the breadcrumbs which life has so patiently put throughout our time on earth, nudging us on which way to go, if we want to stay true to ourselves. Perhaps it is high time that we pay attention and start following it.

The inspiration comes from a chat with Hanny, who is setting up an online initiative called GPS University with Gwen Elliot, which aims to help youths identifying their ‘anger’ and use it to fuel their passion with a purpose. Brilliant move guys. May all be well.

The article was first published on The Jakarta Globe’s blogs.

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