We all have emotions that are more uncomfortable for us to experience and for me that one has always been anger. There was so much fear attached to feeling angry. Fear that I will appear irrational, fear that I would hurt or push people away, fear that I would be viewed as unlikable, fear that I will resemble the anger I witnessed as a child and would lose respect for myself and that it would make me unlovable. Unfortunately, my avoidance and suppression created experience after experience where I felt as though I was being taken advantage of, walked over or not respected. All along, anger was screaming at me to notice it and claim my healthy boundaries to honor my needs. Instead, I was judgmental and critical of it and associated "managing" my anger with being "more spiritual" or "seeing the big picture from all angles". Yes, all of those are beautiful paths to walk but our higher self never wants us to compromise our integrity, so not tending to our needs when someone crosses a line, is never the healthy choice. How we choose to approach the situation is where the path to balance, maturity and growth can flourish.
My personal relationship with anger had been a challenging one until recently. Through my 7-week, self-discovery course, I developed a new and beautiful partnership with this emotion. Learning to listen to my body, have the compassion and patience to understand that it is trying to tell me something and then honor the wisdom it unveils.
Often, when we feel anger, it is an indication that a boundary has been crossed or there was a loss of personal safety. This is an extremely helpful and supportive emotion. Regardless of whether it's a real or perceived threat, we need to tend to this vulnerable part of ourselves. Anger can have the tendency to get a bad rep and come across as one of the more volatile emotions that needs to be suppressed, when often, it is actually revealing a sadness or softness that we are shielding or guarding. If we take the time to ask our anger, how old are you then notice where we feel it in our bodies, we can connect with the message it is sending us and begin the work of healing and moving forward. Being with our feeling instead of becoming it, will allow us to take the road of growth.
Anybody can become angry-that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way-that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.
The other side of the spectrum is when we allow anger to impulsively react and make our choices for us. When we take the time to slow down, check in with ourselves and decide what the healthiest, most balanced way to move forward is, we are using the information to support our growth and evolution. The other day, in a conversation about anger, a perspective was pointed out to me that often, we can and should allow people the grace and understanding of a mistake or a first time offense but once we have voiced our needs, wants, desires and boundaries and they are repeatedly disregarded or dismissed, that is when we can feel our dear friend bubbling up inside us, letting us know that it is time to speak up for ourselves. Unfortunately, sometimes when we have had our boundaries and safety crossed in our past, it is all too easy for a similar situation to trigger our sympathetic nervous system, get the best of us, and we punish people for the sins of others. When we react to anger with anger, it only intensifies the feeling. When we meet our anger with grace and the desire to understand where it is coming from, we can almost immediately feel the tension in our body begin to soften because we are initiating self-care and our anger feels seen and heard.
The truth is that too many people in this world are going to push our boundaries and see how far we will bend (click here to check out my boundaries blog if you have yet!). We can't blame them; it is up to us to know our core values like a dear friend and live them strong and true so that when a boundary gets crossed we can trust ourselves to restore the balance.
When we dig deep, often we resent and are angriest at ourselves because we have allowed ourselves to either be exposed to the experience or that we did not speak up in a way that honors our authentic self.
What if the next time we felt anger creeping up within us, we held softness for ourselves and understood that we need compassion and understanding in this moment?
What if we didn't judge, criticize, or try to rationalize the surfacing emotion and just allowed the sensation to flow through our body unimpeded and listen to what it is telling us?
What if we asked our anger what boundary was violated or loss of personal safety did we suffer that is causing this feeling?
What if we asked ourselves how we might have allowed this behavior or situation into our lives?
What if we asked our anger what action is needed from us to restore safety, well-being, integrity, and balance?
What if we used this information to commit to making choices and changes that establish firm boundaries to restore personal safety into our lives that align with our authentic truth?
What if we then breathed into the sensations and trusted ourselves enough to know that we will now hold ourselves in a higher regard, allowed forgiveness for those involved, including ourselves and released the hold it had on us?
May we honor our anger and allow it to become our guide to security, self-trust, and self-respect.
All the Love,