Re-printed from May 16, 2021
Today I choose to write about anger. Anger is the energy of defending your personal boundary. It often will cover up a deeper emotional wound. This wound involves feelings of worthlessness, not good enough or inadequacy. So when someone crosses your boundary with actions or words that trigger the “I’m not good enough” wound, anger is the self defense response that pushes them away.
When anger is taken to the extreme, this self defense mechanism triggers a part of your brain known as the amygdala. Once activated, the amygdala takes full control of your actions. This phenomenon is know as amygdala hijacking. The rage that follows defends your wounds without regard to the impact it has on others around you or your own body.
The truth may be that you want to change your behavior, however, with your wound in place, amygdala hijacking is inevitable. I know this to be true because everything I wrote is not only factual, it is also autobiographical.
When I was triggered, my rage damaged the people around me. It also damaged my heart as you will see momentarily. I hated the way I was reacting and yet I had no conscious control over my reactions. The only saving grace for me was when I had the courage to ask for help; when I found an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) practitioner.
My EFT practitioner helped me release my anger and blame of others. Then she helped helped me with my emotional wounds of “not good enough” or “not worthy of.” After two years of intensely working with her, I can honestly write that I no longer rage. When I do feel triggered, I’m now aware of it, step aside, do EFT on myself and calm the rising anger.
It’s important to know that some anger is healthy. Anger is the emotion/feeling that awakens the warrior archetype within you and spurs you to action. It is when anger takes over and becomes rage, that it ravages those around you, that isn’t healthy.
In 2008, my years of raging caught up to me. On December 12th at 7:00 AM in the morning, I almost collapsed in the shower. On my wife's good counsel we called 911 and I took my first ambulance ride to the hospital. A few hours later, despite a normal EKG, I was told that I had a heart attack. I then took my second ambulance ride as I was transferred to Morristown Memorial Hospital.
I had the first of 2 cardiac catheterizations. The first involved angioplasty and the insertion of a stent in my circumflex artery which was 100% occluded. The second involved angioplasty and the insertion of a stent into my left ascending cardiac artery which was 99% occluded. As a bonus I also had angioplasty of a third artery. Had the arteries been reversed I could have died.
Here are the photos of before and after my procedures. I had a decent, not great diet. My cholesterol was not very elevated. My blood pressure was fairly normal. In retrospect, I was getting chest pain on exertion, angina, before this event. Instead of getting help, I went into denial (not the smartest decision I’ve ever made) and exerted myself harder until the pain dissipated. While incredibly stupid to ignore this, it also help protect my heart by creating additional collateral blood vessels.
Emotional Freedom Technique literally saved my life and my relationship with my family. I was so inspired by my results that I became a certified Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner. As the main tool, in addition to others, I started my new career as a Transformational Coach. My mission is to empower people to move forward into the future of their choice, by healing their past.