What if anger and destruction were not the end of a relationship, a job, a life?
What if they were the beginning?
What we’re so scared of destroying – is it making us so happy, after all?
What if the falling, crumbling, cascading away of the thing we are so desperately clinging onto – in our tight-knuckled version of happiness – was the very act necessary for the emergence of a deeper, truer way of being: A more compassionate, loving relationship; more fulfilling work; a more fully lived life?
So often we betray ourselves to please another, to stay ‘safe’, to keep the ‘peace’.
But if we have to cling onto it and lie, sometimes even to ourselves, to keep it – is it really peace? Is it really so positive?
I have heard so many versions of this:
“It made me angry… I mean, not angry, that’s not good… umm… just a little pissed maybe…?”
I feel angry while writing this. I feel angry that so many people are being taught to ‘rise above’ – in other words SUPPRESS – their emotions.
I don’t believe that is going to create a loving, compassionate world.
I believe it’s going to create a world where people are (even further) disconnected from themselves, their bodies and their emotions – and that this disconnect is the reason for most of the pain in our world.
On a human level, I already see the effect of people living in a state of disconnect:
- ~ Judging themselves and others,
- ~ Abandoning their bodies (over/under-eating, self-harm, over/under exercise)
- ~ Not knowing how to be with others in distress (“Cheer up!” – My god – that one on its own is enough to make me furious!)
Some people don’t know how they feel. In meditations, this is the point where they check out and when asked, start telling me the backstory of their emotions. The need for me to understand why they feel angry (and, therefore, hopefully not judge them!) is more important than acknowledging the emotion.
A Different Way
This way of living is EXHAUSTING. Constantly trying to control not only our thinking but others thinking about us too… (which you know is impossible right?)
What this shows is that you are judging the emotion as not really allowed unless there is a ‘good enough’ reason. Then it’s OK.
For a little bit.
Then we’d better shut up and get over it and put the smile back on, right? “Cheer up!”.
What if we could just acknowledge the emotion without worrying about what the other may or may not think?
Destroying The Self
I realise that in writing this I am destroying something. I am destroying a carefully constructed view of myself (in my imagination) as a caring, kind yoga-teaching lovely person. As someone people generally tend to like, and want around – often commenting on my positive energy.
Well, here I am. Here’s another side.
The other stuff is still true, too. But the moment we define ourselves we become one-dimensional and trapped. I think it’s about time we gave ourselves and each other space to be a little more complex, a little more full, a little more colourful.
Letting you see this side of me – feel the anger in these words- is a little scary. I feel unclothed, transparent, thin-skinned.
Perhaps I will regret writing some of these things.
But I would rather regret saying things in anger than not saying things out of fear.
Love In Anger
Let me be clear here. I’m not encouraging a world where we throw blame and curses around.
I am encouraging radical, unflinching, all-embracing self-love as an antidote to shame and guilt and judgements on judgements and suppressed emotions boiling away inside.
Self-love towards the murky parts. The parts we would rather not admit to, rather not be seen – for fear of being judged, deemed unworthy and unlovable and cast out.
As one by one, we start to shed the layers, start to turn towards and embrace these parts of ourselves, like a truly loving, fiercely loving, unconditionally loving mother, we will see this acceptance ripple out into our families, our friendships, our communities, our world.
We will hear sister after sister, brother after brother breathe a sigh of relief, as they finally feel free to be fully themselves. Knowing they will not be abandoned for not being perfect.
So What Now?
Start with this:
Allow yourself to feel into how this makes you feel.
Has it raised something in you? A fire… an anger?
Has your soul shouted YES! … and if it is OK, then, for me to be angry, is it, perhaps, maybe, possibly, OK for you too?
Has it triggered something in you? Do you feel like throwing something at me? If you do, I only ask you do it consciously – ask yourself – what belief, up till now keeping you safe, have I shaken?
It’s Safe To Be You
It’s safe to be you, with all that you are and all that you bring, and all that you love, and all that riles you and makes you wild and alive
There is a fire in anger which inspires action. If you have lived for a long time in an in-between place, a limbo place, a saying and not doing, a wishing, a dreaming, and not acting… perhaps it’s time to start a fire.
No hiding, no holding back. It’s safe to be you.
Start Your Journey
Are you fully self-expressed in your life and business or do you feel like you have to hide certain parts of you to be liked/ to get ahead? If you feel like you need permission to bring all of your wild self to the table, to feel what you feel, and love what you love, I’d like to invite you to come and join me over in my Facebook Group, Unapologetically YOU. It’s a safe space where all of you is welcome, in all your ambitious and scared, brave and sensitive, spiritual and irreverent, wise and silly, perfectly imperfect, paradoxical truth. I look forward to getting to know you there.
Photo credit: Tomi Tapio / Foter / CC BY-SA
Beautifully expressed Kate and so agree with you. I have a chapter on this very subject in my new book – I call it Dancing With The Dark Side. As women we’ve been taught to feel shame around anger and been encouraged to squash it down, but there it rests in our cells and turns against us resulting in depression and illness. We must get it out of our system. Elyse we’re speaking later this week anyway and I will be dancing some of this with Kate at her workshop on the weekend and at the One Woman Conference. No holding back – let it out with joy and gusto.
let it out indeed 🙂 love ‘Dancing with the Dark Side’… so great to dance whatever we are feeling, such a magical way of opening up