You Can Disentangle Feelings, Especially Anger
We don’t do emotions very well – still – in this culture. We attempt to tell ourselves what is acceptable and not acceptable, good and bad, regarding specific feelings. Anger for countless millennia has been tangled up with justifying violence and other abuse, passive-aggressive behavior, and attempts to dominate.
Anger is fueled by fear. Anger in its pure state is empowering, clearing and affirming. It is worth noting there are many stories from many present and ancient religious and spiritual practices in the world about gods and goddesses becoming angry as the key emotion that initiates a profound call to action, and subsequently transforms the world.
Anger Heals Itself
When we stuff anger it can turn to depression, helplessness and despair. Women in particular have been very centrally limited in their right to express anger in society, and told throughout recorded history that any anger they express or even feel is not only unacceptable but, in effect, a sin.
I have become newly acquainted in recent years with the basic anger that we posses as human beings through the amazing time I have spent with my first grandson, just turned three. In seconds he becomes completely transformed by anger. It transforms him - and then, as he completes its cycle of expression - it just as completely leaves, and he goes on in his life and his world, cleansed and content.
Ten Guidelines to Evolve Through Expressing Anger
We associate anger with power and helplessness, passion and impotence. Caught in guilt, ignorance and conditioning, we don’t understand and don’t how to express anger; and so it loses its basic capacity to heal and evolve us.
You may wonder how I can say that anger heals and evolves us. When anger is cleanly and honestly expressed, it brings insight, clarity, and empowerment. Here are ten guidelines to learn to be present and well express anger:
Part I – Get Down To It
1. Better understand the relationship of anger through knowing what comes before and after it, by remembering anger has been described as the third basic stage of grief, or loss; after denial and bargaining, and before helplessness/hopelessness and acceptance.
2. Begin a journaling exercise with the sentence, “Ten things I’ve been angry about”.
3. Notice what part(s) of your body seems to carry anger.
4. Write these letters to yourself over the course of one to two months about what you’re angry about in yourself, your life, your relationships, your hopes, your dreams, and your sense of the divine.
5. Be alone and uninterrupted, and rage for 15 minutes.
Part II – Come Through It and See How It Leads You Up and Out
6. Settle back and take ten cleansing breaths -each time you inhale say this sentence to yourself: I receive this anger; and each time you exhale say to yourself: I release this anger – noting how you feel afterward.
7. Stay in this deeper meditative and reflective state, and imagine you can connect to your sense of your still, small voice within - and ask it, What is my call to action through the free expression of my anger?
8. Record your call to action, and commit to carrying it out to honor yourself and your anger.
9. Now ask your still, small voice, as you return, by deepening your breath and closing your eyes, to a deeper meditative state, what it tells you to forgive in yourself and all others; and record this response.
10. Note how you feel, and record your insights along with any sense of clarity, freedom, empowerment and completion that occurs.