Anger is a reaction we have to a perceived injustice which we fear. In order to deal with anger we need to think about whether our perception of this injustice is valid. If it is an important issue and an issue which is from the present, as opposed to the past, then it is important that we take action and speak our opinions about it in a non- threatening way (If we don’t do this our anger can become ‘bottled up’ and is sure to explode when we finally can take no more). We can all do this, but it does require a few skills, which unfortunately many people lack. Firstly it involves taking a minute or two to get rid of the physical reactions in our bodies, including the dispersal of adrenalin. Since anger was once a survival mechanism, we still have a Fight, Flight, Freeze reaction to fear. Anger is a type of fear – a fear of injustice. Once we have relaxed we can then collect our thoughts and ‘argue’ our point using assertive language which does not threaten the other person. Sometimes we bring emotional baggage to the argument. If we are bringing with us, past frustrations to the argument, we really need to address these separately at a more convenient time and consider where the source of these frustrations REALLY come from. Sometimes our anger might be fuelled by manufactured fear and behaviour we have learnt from others in society (including historical resentments). We must think deeply about if there is any logical reason, why we feel deep anger, as a result of these things. We need to think of the consequences that will result if we react in a revengeful way, regarding these matters. We need to stop and ask ourselves ‘Is this going to be helpful or is this going to make things worse?’ The important thing to remember is that anger is an emotion which can be controlled, but only if we recognise we have a problem and work on resolving it. Love takes away the fuel of an angry fire, so that we can change from allowing anger to be destructive and turn it into something constructive. Our fear is thus transformed into courageous action, which instead of making things worse can make things better. Thus anger is not a negative emotion, but how we deal with our anger determines whether it is negative and destructive or positive and constructive.
Jealousy is a fear which incorporates a variety of other fears. It is a fear based on insecurity (fearing not being good enough), anger (fearing that an injustice is taking place), paranoia (fearing that someone is ‘out to get us’), loss (fearing that we will loose someone or something to someone else). It is an ugly ‘green-eyed’ beast and is completely counter productive. The more jealous we are the more we push others away and the more likely we are to end up with nothing, which is the exact opposite of what we wanted to happen. Being jealous is a costly mistake to make and we would be wise to learn how to defeat this monster.
In my painting I have shown jealousy as a green eyed, triple headed, sea monster in the style of Francis Bacon’s ‘Three Studies for Figures at the base of a Crucifixion’. I thought this was appropriate because of it’s symbolism regarding sexuality, castration and grief (which is signified by the gnashing, red lipped mouths of bacon’s figures). I also wanted to make them look a bit like ‘Muppet show’ figures, signifying the ridiculousness of jealousy. I liked the bandaged look of Bacon’s figure, as if it had been injured in some war, which I feel is what jealousy is like, because when we are jealous, are current actions are based on past bad experiences, such as loss in our childhood or early adult life. We must examine our life and find out where these kinds of negative emotions have arisen from. If we do not do this, we cannot move forward. We will remain forever stuck in a past life and will bring our emotional baggage with us, to every new relationship, destroying any chances we have of leading the life we dream about and missing out on wonderful opportunities. Thus, jealousy is a form of self sabotage caused by fear.