This song has been looping around my brain for the last two weeks as it strikes a chord in me. One that tells me that to find beauty one must learn to deal with anger. The video is confronting at best as it portrays the complexity of a toxic yet  passionate relationship between a young couple, their emotional stability and addiction. While I can’t say that I have been in a relationship like this myself, I’ve had enough front row seats in my life to empathise with the situation. This is one powerful piece of street philosophy.
What I like best about Eminem’s latest offering is the way in which he so eloquently articulates his relationship with his emotions:
“I can’t tell you what it really is, I can only tell you what it feels like”
The song perfectly captures the moment, the time when anger is bubbling up from within, ready to explode. You have a second to decide, your fight or flight response is paused ready to act and your veins are pumping. What will you do?
And then there is the other perspective, the partner played by Rihanna who ‘loves the way you lie’. It is the story of an addiction, an intense love, a thirst for drama, a need for an adrenalin-filled release. It is a story of torture, of pain, of loss but ultimately of hope.
I recently purchased a recording of a philosophy lecture which contained a Q&A session. One of the FAQ’s in philosophy is ‘how can there be a God if there is so much suffering in the world”, a classic question and one which we (believers or not) ponder over in times of crisis. Before that question was answered another point was raised in defence of life as is: “Without suffering we would not know peace, without hurt we would not know great love”. Again, a fair and commonly made point but is it true? The philosophy lecturer threw it right back (as they do) saying “just how much pain and suffering would you recommend?” and that’s when things got tricky because there is no easy way of answering that, living where we do, knowing what we know and watching You Tube videos like this one.
The answer is annoyingly simple and is in two parts. Firstly we have one real choice to make in life, and that is the choice over how to respond to any given situation. Second is that we are often not in a position to judge what is good or bad, suffering or luxury. Confronting stuff.
Anger is an emotion that comes loaded with suffering as this video shows. It can be destructive, dangerous and wasteful. However, anger can also lead us to a place of higher understanding, of personal growth and eventually inner peace.
The Eminem video shows us that surrendering to anger can be a highway to hell while accepting and listening to those angry voices can propel us towards resolution. The sad part for me is the portrayal of alcohol – something that I am not adverse to but which can complicate a situation. Dealing with anger sober is one thing, trying to deal with it through a mental health problem is something else entirely.
I take the view that the emotion of anger,just like that of happiness, joy, sadness and love should be recognised and accepted for what it is. We should neither seek or avoid it and nor should we judge ourselves badly for feeling it. We should let all of these things come and go unhindered as it is only when we take them as we find them that we allow ourselves to realize beauty.
I think that by describing how anger feels in both words and pictures Eminem has unblocked one of the last modern emotional holes. We are often made to feel weak when we express anger “Don’t let it get the better of you”. Well, no we won’t let it get the better of us but we will let it come and go as we observe, articulate and learn its lessons.
Manage your anger gently, don’t deny its presence.

Mental health issues can seriously impeded your ability to manage emotions. There are many people who can help including: Beyond Blue, SANE Alcoholics Anonymous and Wesley Mission.