Thank the People who Piss You Off

It’s that person who gets up first when the plane has just landed so that they can scoot off before you even though they’re 10 seats behind you. What about the person who cuts you off on the road on a rainy day, endangering your lives just so that they can save 10 seconds? It’s that guy on TV or that annoying co-worker who is always talking about you when you’re not around. These are the people who piss you off.

Think about one of these people for a moment. Notice what happens to your body as you envision them. Can you feel that heat? No, the temperature didn’t suddenly change in the room. What you are feeling is your Inner Fire.

Your Inner Fire is that elemental force that lives inside of you. This often misunderstood part of us usually remains hidden inside until something rouses it to the surface. But our Fire is not just the source of the raw energy behind our anger. It is also our passion. That warm energy that goes into love making is the same passionate energy that we pour into our creative projects. These are just different aspects of our Inner Fire.

Our Inner Fire is the fuel behind our sense of conviction when we feel like we’ve been wronged. It’s the energy that makes us advocate for the less fortunate. It’s the drive behind doing work that we really believe in.

Marcus Aurelius, the Emperor of Rome who was called the Philosopher , said it best:

Anger cannot be dishonest.

Your anger is honest because it’s directly connected to your inner sense of truth. When people piss you off, your Inner Fire rises to the surface in the form of anger. If someone overstepped their bounds and offended you, anger is the energy that screams “injustice!”

Anger is the great clarifier that helps us recognize our truth and our personal boundaries. Many believe that our anger will get us into trouble. However, it becomes problematic when we don’t slow down enough to feel it, because we don’t allow it to clarify what we are feeling and what we need to do next. Fire needs time to cook away the inner murkiness, so acting on it too soon can complicate conflicts.

Most people either repress their anger or they blurt it out without thinking of the consequences. But there is a middle ground. Rather than shooting from the hip prematurely, or burying your anger when you feel it, try a different approach. When your angry, pause for a moment and feel it as a heat inside your body. Breathe through your angry moment. It will burn away the inessentials like ash in a crucible. Once it has clarified what you need to do, it will be your motivating force to speak up for yourself, set a boundary, or make a change in your relationship. Anger is your ally that leads to deeper self-awareness. So anyone who stokes your Fire has given you an unexpected gift.

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