Have you ever watched a pot of water boil? As the flame heats the stainless steel base, tiny pockets of air begin to form, slowly floating to the surface, longing to escape, to breathe, and to be seen and heard.

As the heat increases, so does the size of the air bubbles, until finally they are huge, exasperated explosions on the surface of the water, sputtering over the sides, screaming their release, crying out for attention.

Anger is like this.

It starts with tiny bubbles of stress that I call #LifeTax but soon those bubbles simmer into self-defeatist depression and a deep sense of inadequacy before the heat rises a notch too far for too long and it boils into pure rage that finds you irrationally screaming into a pre-recorded phone IVR system that doesn’t compute what you’re saying and asks repeatedly for more information.

It could be anything; the boiling point is what pushes you too far.

This type of anger is an edge where you can scold, burn, and if not cautious, do irreparable damage.

A solution—perhaps the only solution—to turn the gas down is to remove yourself from those you love to protect them from the worst version of yourself. It’s not possible to think; you cannot talk; you cannot do anything. Do not move.

Act literally: “Netflix and chill.”

Only by occupying your mind visually with another medium that doesn’t require thinking does the heat begin to dissipate. Only then can you let go and dissolve into tears of release. Only then will the air held tight in bubbles of fury surface, and only then will the fire in your blood simmer down.

And, only once many hours have passed, can you begin the process of curious reflection, which reserves judgment and actively prevents shame, to begin to see what it was that turned the heat notch up to the point of exploding anger.

It’s those tiny little bubbles when the heat is first turned on. It’s nothing specific. It’s individual little stressors that all add up.

It’s sleep deprivation.
It’s physical pain that just won’t abate.
It’s excessive weight and the self-loathing that comes from it.
It’s dissatisfaction with:
   where you live
   how you live
   where you work
   who you work for
   the quality of your lifestyle
   the inability to experience financial stability
It’s the endlessness of sacrifice and surrendering that comes from parenting.
It’s society, and inflation, and materialism.

It’s a huge, sputtering pot of boiling water.

You can make a choice at this time. You can let that anger drown you like a frog that slowly boils to its death, or you can let the anger be an element that fuels change. You can add ingredients to this anger and cook something fucking fantastic.

Welcome Anger, hug Anger, reassure Anger.
Listen to what Anger is saying.

Anger is the emotion that wants you to see that change is needed.

Anger is your friend. 
Anger wants you to be a better version of yourself.

Chef, m’luv, get cooking.