There is possibly no better place to observe anger in action than behind a closed door in a human resources department, as I did when I worked as a corporate HR executive. As the industries I worked in faced unprecedented challenges, I saw firsthand how raw or suppressed anger stalled careers, poisoned critical relationships, mucked up projects, killed creativity, and affected physical health.

An awful lot of us are angry right now: about mid-career layoffs, the difficulty of finding work when you’re no longer young, or just the realization that the plans we made at 20 no longer fit our dreams. (Google “anger and unemployment” and you get 10 million hits!)

Anger is often a coping mechanism for other emotions like sadness, fear, and shame—and like Glenn Close’s character in Fatal Attraction, it won’t be ignored. Those who try to cover it up or deny it tend to find themselves metaphorically boiling bunnies without knowing why.

Anger, like any emotion, is really an invitation to examine your deepest and most immediate needs. When you choose to accept that invitation, you take the first step of the journey to the center of your heart—and your life’s work. Here are three steps that can help transform anger into your own personal magic.