We as a culture despise anger. We put anger in a very tight box. Clearly war and murder are unhealthy ways to express anger, but typically outward rage is only condoned when a logical case of righteous defense is made. When is emotion logical? When boundaries are crossed we give ourselves permission to act out of rage, but how far across others boundaries can we act without committing the same crime?

In sitting under the shade tree of anger we begin to ask interesting questions. When we do not allow ourselves immediate action and take a time out, we start to doubt. Am I suppressing who I am, who I have a right to be in the world? Will this suppression cause disease? Have I lost my way on the path to enlightenment? How can I feel shame for the beautiful self that is me?

This is the key, the beautiful self that is me. Anger is an emotion. Emotion is part of our human experience, our human experience that is beautiful, that is love. This is why the shade tree is such a curious metaphor. The tree has the power within it to fuel a raging fire, but only when we set a match to it. On a warm, summer day we love the coolness cast by the branches. The tree comforts and soothes us. Imagine that this could be the action of anger allowed. Imagine that when truly accepted for the unpolarized experience that it is, anger could be soothing.

I propose that it is not anger itself that causes so much discomfort, but the actions from it or the guilt from lack of action out of it. All in all, the disease comes when we see the anger as something ugly and cruel. We turn against our own nature by casting light where there should be shadow. By taking our turn under the shade tree we are allowed the time to look upon the lit world around us.

Anger serves the lovely purpose of casting us outside our experience for a time. We become so entrenched in its grasp that we are pulled outside of our daily lives. This allows us the chance to breathe, rest and look out at all the spectacular creation we’ve manifest in the world. So rather than fight it or fight out of it, let us drink in the cool, fresh air of the lesson that is anger.