If your primary motivation for defeating anger is self improvement you wont be able to do it.
You can only get over anger if you first get over yourself.
This is different than we imagine.
We anticipate paths to self transformation will involve paying attention to ourselves in new ways. We are taught will need to be more mindful, aware, in touch, and present than ever before.
Those paths don’t work. They might get you ahead of your anger, but it will still be chasing you. And you are defined by what you are running from.
Jesus says this path where we are trying to improve ourselves by focusing on ourselves leads through the “wide gate”; giving it a name which highlights how well traveled the path is.
Those who are headed through the wide gate see a better version of themselves at the end of the path, fix their eyes on that, and inevitable when they reach the end of the path are disappointed because they have not changed nearly as much as they had hoped. They find themselves waiting at the end of the road.
Reminds me of a scared teen in a horror movie. The poor kid is sprinting through the yard looking over their shoulder only to find the guy with the meat cleaver is waiting for them in the shed. When you are headed to the ‘wide gate’ what you are running from is actually waiting for you when you stop running.
I couldn’t get over anger when my motivation was simply to make my life better because a preoccupation with myself was fueling my anger. As long as the driving question was, “How can I improve?”, I was shooting steroids into the very animal I was trying to domesticate. I had new reasons for being angry. I was trying really hard now! Shouldn’t everyone notice and appreciate all the improvements I have made!?
If your focus remains on yourself you will always feel entitled to your anger. This means what you are really aiming for is to be saved from the consequences of your anger and not the actual elimination of anger from your life. An elevated and prominent self always has reasons, and the right, to be angry.
To truly defeat anger you have to get over yourself and so your motivation can’t be to make your life better.
You will need to think about yourself less, not more.
Which means you will need someone else to think about.
I suggest Jesus.
Jesus offers a different path. One harder to find, but it is worth walking because it actually changes you. You walk it by fixing your eyes, not on a better version of yourself, but on Jesus. When you reach the narrow gate at end of this path you are delighted because it is hard to tell who is who anymore.
I mean by this, you have become like Jesus.
The Jesus way out of anger involves deliberately choosing to think of yourself less, and Him more.