As published on Reiki Rays, May 10, 2020…Article by Kathleen Johnson
Many of us are experiencing anger and frustration these days. It is a natural and unavoidable response during these challenging times. Life as we know it has changed significantly and continues to do so every day. The ground is shifting beneath our feet, and we do not know when stability will return. The Universe has “shaken us to awaken us.”
Yet, as Reiki practitioners and healers, many of us still cling to the belief that anger is an inappropriate response. Indeed, the first Reiki precept cautions us about anger. And many of us have interpreted that to mean that somehow, we must be free from anger at all times and approach every situation with smiling optimism and hope. From my perspective, this belief is, at best, inaccurate, and at worst, restricts us from realizing our full potential as Light Workers.
We are, after all, human. We are spiritual beings having human experiences, as we live our current incarnations on planet Earth. Which means we are subject to all the emotions, flaws, and frailties that come with being human.
So, instead of berating ourselves for feeling anger and frustration, and telling ourselves that we are above, or better, than this, just stop. And then remember that we are human and that each and every one of us is here, at this pivotal time, for a reason.
Whether we like it or not, emotions are a vital part of the human experience. They permit us to navigate our earthly journey successfully. But there is a caveat to this. In order to assist us in life, emotions must be managed in a healthy manner. However, it is an unfortunate fact that we are conditioned from an early age to suppress our feelings, to ignore them, to deny them. Many of us go through life, pushing them away, pretending they do not exist, and telling ourselves that the unpleasant emotions are separate from us. This is not only unhealthy; it is ultimately crippling. To be whole and healthy humans, we must acknowledge all the parts that make us human. And yes, even those that make us feel uncomfortable, angry, or ashamed.
As Reiki practitioners, anger is perhaps the primary emotion that we tend to disavow. After all, are we not supposed to be above feeling anger? Are we not evolved enough to be beyond this? Are not Light Workers immune from wrath? The answer is no, because, again, we are human.
As stated earlier, the first Reiki precept deals with anger. I have seen it written in many ways, some of which indicate that we should not feel anger at all. For example, the first of the Reiki precepts utilized by Reiki masters in Japan states, “Just for today, do not anger.”(1) On its face, it is easy to understand how this wording can lead us to believe that we must reject and suppress our anger. However, I contend that the intention of this precept is not to caution against feeling anger but to manage it appropriately when it arises. It helps to remember that fear is at the core of anger, and these are indeed frightening times. By recognizing that fear often manifests as anger, we are better able to understand why we are angry. In turn, that understanding can allow healing to begin as we empower ourselves with the truth. Anger is an unavoidable aspect of being human, so to dismiss or subvert it makes us less than whole, and prevents true healing.
Speaking for myself, I have been feeling angry and fearful, especially as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc in every area of existence. I have had moments (days?) in which I rail against Spirit, rail against my fellow humans, censure those who think and behave differently than I do. I have sought to place blame and have been irritable, snappish, and far removed from the image of smiling optimism and hope. So, what does that say about me? In short, I am human, and I am frightened.
Blessedly, throughout it all, Reiki has been with me. I have held it closer than ever these days, always by my side, in my heart and soul, and every fiber of my very human self. And Reiki has comforted and counseled me, assuring me that this too shall pass and that everything is purposeful, including these often-challenging days. It has also soothed my shame and guilt about feeling angry and reminded me that it is a necessary part of being human; that it is merely a tool. Anger in and of itself is neutral – it is energy in motion. What defines it is how we utilize this tool in our lives – how we manage it. Because we are equipped with free will, we always have a choice – to use it for destruction or creation.
With that in mind, Reiki also guided me to understand that anger’s power can create much good. It is a powerful motivator and vehicle for change, sorely needed in these days of so much darkness. Reiki patiently reminded me of ways to channel that anger and fear into creating positive change as the planet and humanity struggle to birth the New Earth with its new consciousness.
And gradually, that helpless, impotent anger began to shift into something powerful and life-affirming. With Reiki’s guidance, I began to see it as an ally and a source of fuel, with the power to accelerate the way forward. So, instead of pushing it down and denying its existence, Reiki guided me to acknowledge the anger, and indeed, to welcome it. This simple shift in perspective made all the difference, and the years of conditioned behavior against the emotion of rage, and denial of fear, started to dissolve. Now, my anger, representative of my passion, is a staunch ally, and I draw upon it when hope and optimism for a better world falter. I am reminded of how it empowers me, how it feeds my passions, and my ability to communicate hope and optimism to others. In short, anger is now my friend and an instrument of change. I no longer succumb to it or choke it down in clumsy attempts to hide it. I do not trample on others because of it. I simply acknowledge and appreciate its raw power and how that power can do so much good. When enough of us are feeling anger and utilizing its power for monumental change, we can truly move mountains.
Time and again, Reiki and my guides have emphasized that anger has been given to us as a tool. And because of free will, we have a choice – let it run roughshod over our lives, or harness its power for individual and collective good. As humans, we are all familiar with the power of anger, and when we allow it to empower us, instead of using it to wield power over others, its potential is staggering.
So, instead of perceiving the first precept as a warning against anger, perhaps we can welcome it as a clarion call to motivate and inspire change, in accordance with the Highest Good. The choice is ours.
Just for today, let anger be an instrument of change.
1 — www.reiki.org/articles/original-reiki-ideals
© 2020 Kathleen Johnson