What if our anger at a person or situation is really a smokescreen for deep, buried anger at God? (Or, if you aren’t comfortable with ‘God’- you could substitute ‘the universe,’ or fate or destiny.)
Recently, a client shared feeling angry at God because for many years she felt empty inside. She had a nice house, lots of material resources, a well-paying job, and a good family. Yet something was missing. She embarked on a spiritual path; she no longer feels empty. But she still is angry at God for abandoning her.
Anger at God can look like…
- Feeling life’s not fair (for yourself or others)
- Others are ‘lucky’ while you must ‘toil’ and ‘slave’
- Your life should have worked out differently
- Feeling frustrated or powerless in life on a chronic basis
- Feeling denied (of love, companionship, money, resources, etc.)
- Feeling abandoned
Why is it important to look at this?
At times, it’s easier to be angry at a person or a situation rather than face our anger at God. It may feel ‘wrong’ or somehow ‘not spiritual.’ Or we fear being punished- especially if we believe in a wrathful ‘God.’
But once we see this core anger at God, we dramatically accelerate the healing process, because we have found the root. It’s like gardening. Some weeds go way down into the earth. You can’t be done weeding unless you get to the root. So, it is with anger – especially if it crops up on a chronic basis.
Having said this, how can we look at anger at God in a light way, through a lens of humor and play? ?
Bruce Almighty: A fun way to view anger
The lead character, Bruce, played by Jim Carey, is angry at living a ‘mediocre life.’ His current job- as a TV reporter where he shares stories that make people laugh- as well as Grace, his loving, devoted girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston)- are simply not enough. He wants more- a better job, a luxury car, and a different apartment. When a rival colleague is selected for a coveted head anchor position, Bruce has a meltdown while filming a live story which gets him fired. When Grace tries to console him, he becomes more angry- believing that God not only hates him but is deliberately not answering his prayers. Bruce’s anger eventually leads him to God (portrayed by Morgan Freeman). ?
God grants Bruce all His powers, and Bruce enters a ‘super-manifestation’ phase of life – where all his dreams come true- becoming head anchor, having greater wealth, more accolades, as well as a fancy luxury car.
Anger is feeling denied
When we look at externals to measure our worth and success, we will never be happy. Something will always be missing because we see ourselves as limited human beings with limited human resources in a world of lack and limitation. But, this is not the world created by God (or the Divine). Rather, this is the world made by the ego mind and it is through this lens that we often view our life.
But what if we feel empty inside?
There is a beautiful phrase from a Buddhist chant that comes to mind. We are like children of rich birth wandering the earth with a begging bowl. Or like the mystic Indian poet Kabir sings – we are like fish swimming in the sea yet still we feel thirsty.
It is never God or the Divine that leaves us, but we who believe ourselves to be separated from our True Source. The journey of anger is one that can help us reclaim our divine inheritance- of peace, happiness, joy and love. This is our true treasure that can never be taken away – only hidden and obscured.
Back to the movie
Eventually, Bruce realizes that all he makes – no matter how much it seems to shine and glimmer- is a shabby substitute for the Truth of who he already is-perfect and whole, created in the image of the Divine Creator. His perception shifts so he truly appreciates the blessings of his life- as it is. Nothing is lacking. All that is needed is Self-acceptance.
More to come
Next week, I will share ways to heal this anger at God and find lasting relief. So, stay tuned! Meanwhile, happy movie watching, and as always, I welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. ?
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