When I was little I would have temper tantrums- tiny fists beating on the floor, arms and legs flailing. My young self was declaring my right to exist in the only way I knew how. I still have a strong sense of self and a strong will and believe me, these have been challenging traits to live with at times. I have hurt people with my words and felt the shame of not being able to control myself better. I didn’t know that there were other ways to be angry, ways that could actually be live-giving rather than destructive.
As I started to work with mindfulness and Shadow Work® as part of my own healing journey, my relationship to anger changed. I learned that my anger was connected to a sense of protecting myself and claiming my right to my own feelings and desires. I also discovered that feeling angry is just a constellation of sensations and energies in the body. Through experiencing these sensations with a sense of presence, I gained a greater connection to my own power and passion. I came to understand how to offer attention to my anger without lashing out at others. I also learned to forgive myself for the times when I didn’t manage it all perfectly.
Since then I have worked with many people, across a spectrum of age and gender, to help them inhabit their anger in a healthy way. So many people are afraid of anger, their own or that of others. Many people have lost some of their own power and sense of self because they have been stuffing their anger down for a long time. Often people equate anger with actions and don’t know how to relate to their anger without doing something destructive. Others feel out of control of anger and find that it destroys relationships and creates shame. Many people have come to realize that even when they do their best to suppress anger, it sneaks out in other ways.
Reclaiming healthy anger connects us to the strength of the warrior archetype. It is so fulfilling for me to see people reinhabit this aspect of themselves. I see people transform as they claim greater groundedness, empowerment, clarity, and confidence. How do you relate to your anger at this point in your life? What gifts and/or power have you discovered in anger? What about anger scares you? What might be the costs in your life of not inhabiting healthy anger? I would love to hear your feedback. If you’re interested in exploring this topic with me further, consider signing up for my Radical Acceptance of Anger class coming up Monday, October 6th. Individual sessions are also a powerful way to explore anger.