When Anger Doesn't Last, Turn to Love

By: Miranda Pietschman, Events and Communications Coordinator

Let’s be honest…there are a lot of things to be angry about in the world. There are atrocities, disparities, inequalities, and injustices, that when thought about together, can leave a person feeling an overwhelming sense of anger. As a type 8 on the Enneagram, anger is a leading emotional state for me, and to be honest, nothing gets me quite as angry as injustice of any kind.

But anger is an emotion I’ve learned I must consciously work on every day – because if I don’t, it burns me out. Anger is like a flame inside me, and most people, burning strong and high, but at some point, it is depleted. And whether depletion happens through lack of resources (i.e., the candle burns down) or addition of an extinguisher (i.e., water to put the fire out) is up to each of us.

If we stay in a constant state of anger over injustices like human trafficking, we will surely hit depletion at some point. After all, there are only so many Facebook arguments you can get in to before you begin to feel so powerless about changing the world that you instead decide to give up and stop fighting, or worse, numb yourself completely.

Now, I’m certainly not advocating we don’t get angry about the injustices we see daily – like I said, anger is one of my main emotions, and it fuels the fight for equality for me. But after feeling burnt out and powerless on so many occasions, I realized I had to do something else. To keep up my same need for justice and desire for an equitable world, I had to turn to love. Allowing love to fuel my fight (alongside my anger, because let’s be honest, that’s never going away) has given me more perspective. Love has allowed me to imagine the world as it should exist. Love encourages me to always be hopeful – because even though a world free of injustice seems far off, I know it isn’t impossible.

Anger can fuel me, but love for a world that could exist has to drive me.