At the moment, for a multitude of reasons, I'm feeling hurt, confused, frustrated and disappointed. It's important that I recognise this, because these feelings are driving a more powerful, potentially destructive emotion that I'm feeling right now. What they add up to is a whole lot of anger.
I have a strange relationship with anger. It's a feeling that I tend to push down, or repress. Pushing it down only compresses it, however, and makes room for more anger to be stored. When I reach a point where I'm unable to take any more pain or frustration, all of that stored anger comes to the surface, and the results can be devastating.
As a part of something else I was doing at the time, I once found myself on an anger management course. The basic premise of the course can be expressed simply: anger is a valid human emotion, and it becomes appropriate or inappropriate in the way it is expressed.
It's not good to carry such a negative emotion around with us. In an ideal world, we would tell people they have hurt or disappointed us, and they would acknowledge it. If this option is not available to us, or it would be unwise to be so open about how we feel, as it so often is, we might try to let the feeling go, but the feeling might not let us go.
I said it's important to recognise the feelings that are at the root of our anger. In my case, the feelings are directed towards others who I feel have let me down. Many people fit that description right now. Tempting as it is to generalise those feelings, to become angry at the world around me, I see that a few friends have been consistently supportive and don't deserve to be in the firing line.
Some people deserve my anger, and I refuse to keep pushing it down. I expect that they, in turn, are about to feel hurt, confused, frustrated and possibly disappointed, if I choose to express my anger inappropriately. Whether that happens, or I express it more appropriately, depends on how much they continue to let me down.