Anger is often seen in spiritual practice as undesirable and to be let go of as soon as possible. And in a general sense it’s true; we have all seen people who hold onto their grievances and resentments and carry them around like valuable possessions, bringing toxicity into their own lives as well as those around them. However, while it’s good general advice to release our anger quickly, it does not always help us in the nitty gritty of our own daily lives.
Anger is a signal like any other emotion. Often anger signifies that an important personal boundary has been crossed and we need to listen carefully to the message contained in the angry emotion to discern what is to be done. And it might mean an old hurt has surfaced that needs further healing. So it is important that we investigate what our anger is about before we either attempt to let it go or act in some way to defend ourselves.
Often there is an intermingling of a past hurt and a current situation that we are facing. For example we have a difficult relationship with a boss at work that lines up with old issues with a parent. This takes particular care to sort out as to what part of the situation may be our own issue and what part we have a legitimate cause for wanting to confront the other person, while not acting out and undermining our position.