Anger is just sad’s bodyguard.

When I first read the quote above, I had no clue what it meant. I couldn’t form the words into any semblance of understanding. Then it hit me and I understood with every fiber of my being.  Like a bodyguard protecting a client, we hide our sadness behind anger.   Anger is our shield to protect us from exposing our emotions to the world.

So much of the world lives on the edge between sadness and happiness.  The cars and houses and huge TV’s don’t bring the happiness expected.  Instead, sadness settles deep inside, a loss we might not even understand.  Because we won’t – or aren’t able – to admit the sadness at the center of our supposed ‘search for happiness,’ we pretend the sadness isn’t there.  We get angry at the people, events, politicians, (add your own favorites) we ‘think’ are keeping us from the happiness we deserve.

The truth is, we aren’t entitled to ‘happiness’ just because we exist. Every one of us is responsible for tearing down our own shield of anger and confronting the reality of life. Is all the anger in the world just hiding sadness over lives failing to fulfilled our own expected potential?

I lash out when I’m sad, trying to avoid some issue in my life.  I don’t like feeling out-of-control. The funny thing is, I know I’m hiding but I can’t help myself.  It’s easier to blame the world than to admit to the sadness settled inside me. It takes me a few hours, or days, to talk myself around to admitting the sadness hiding behind my armor.

If I am sad over a bill, with no clue where to find the money to pay,  I get angry. If only I had a better paying job; didn’t have to support my (adult) kids; if my mortgage company hadn’t screwed over some perceived slight.  You get the picture.

We all struggle with these feeling ever day. It’s the ostrich head in the sand syndrome.  If I don’t acknowledge the problem, it just might go away. I might win the lottery (if I played) or I might find a fortune in my attic (fat chance). Or I might just wind my way around to acknowledging my anger and deal with the problem head-on.  It doesn’t matter if I come up with an acceptable solution – such as where to get the money – I’ve confronted the issue.  That alone given me the peace needed to calmly and logically deal with the problem.

What if we could strip away the anger of the world, banish every shred guarding the sadness of an entire planet? What would be left for every man, woman and child?  Sadness. And then what if we acknowledged the sadness, every one of us on the entire planet. What if nobody felt out-of-control?

What would our planet look like then?

42 thoughts on “Anger is just sad’s bodyguard.

  1. This acknowledgement of sadness might be the place for a new start. Perhaps realizing that our feelings are similar and we can identify with each other, no matter our background or particular hurt.

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  2. Thank you for writing this piece. It speaks to me a lot.
    I have come to understand that when i can be with my sadness, allow it to exist, breathe into it then it has more of a chance to unlock, move through me. I am becoming more comfortable, more accepting of sadness, in myself and in others. My anger usually flares up when I think that someone or something ‘should’ be different, that there is some wrongness in the person or situation. When I hold blame or judgment it is easy for me to get angry. And anger is more energizing than sadness. It gets the adrenaline going. It gives me a false sense of empowerment. As if I could control my sadness or the people/situations around me. What is the story I am telling myself about what is going on? Does it open or close my heart? If it closes my heart am I willing to change the story to one that opens my heart.

    Following is a story that I came across a long time ago. I don’t know where it originate, the origin is unclear. It helps me come back to an open heart.

    Two Wolves

    A Cherokee elder was teaching his grandchildren about life.

    He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me…It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, pride and superiority.

    The other wolf stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside of you and every other person too.”

    They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

    The old Cherokee simply replied…”The one I feed.”

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  3. Our planet might just be a much better place if everyone dropped their anger shields, acknowledged their sadness, and decided to talk to each other instead of killing each other and bombing the crap out of other people’s countries. Our long suffering planet might feel relieved and stop making so many horrific ‘earth-changes’ if she didnt have to suffer from her inhabitants contstant anger and aggression.
    This is a wonderful post, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. A lovely and thought provoking piece of writing. We live in a culture that constantly tells us to “be positive”. ‘Anger’ is somehow an acceptable alternative to positivity but ‘sadness’ or even worse ‘grief’ is not acceptable. Bravo to you for acknowledging the anger and the sadness beneath it.

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  7. Thank you so much for this wonderful post! It illustrates the vicious cycle of sadness and the enabling that being angry provides. I think this helps show the inner self-denial of the truth in one’s soul. The permission that we give ourselves to be angry, as you stated. I think there may be some other things going on with anger besides sadness though. A sense of entitlement, expectations and lack of individual accountability. Our society and institutions have failed to instill the values of yesteryear that helped guard against this sadness and anger.

    My wife visited the villages of the upper Amazon and was so impressed with the children that were so happy and joyful but had nothing to be happy about by Western values. A simple ballpoint pen brought them happiness. We have lost the understanding of the true meaning and values of life. We have been brainwashed to the point where envy, greed and jealousy are no longer sins but accepted reactions.

    I would encourage all to listen/relisten to the song “Imagine”. Happiness is a choice we can choose to make. The way out of sadness and anger is to accept the choices we have made and to make better and more informed choices in the future. A heavy dose of forgiveness for others and ourselves is also required.

    Wonderful post. Thanks so much for visiting me at: !! I would have never been able to enjoy this post or meet you had you not stopped by – Thanks!


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