Wisdom From Anger
2 October 2022
by Kristina Renée
Holding onto your anger
Poisons the heart
It erodes the bridge to connection
It allows dark energies to find you
Infiltrate your Soul
Bringing to you more of what is not your own
You become a beacon for the darkness
Which these energies feel
And without you knowing they enter your being
Clouding your understanding
of what is yours and what is not
In a way they feed upon your Soul
At first it may feel powerful
And you may find comfort in it
But this is only an illusion
This is not power from within yourself
It is a power over you
As if you are trapped by it
Shackled to its control
The illusion is strong though
And it may take many many moons of this pattern
Of harming yourself and of harming others
It may take, until one day
you fall upon your knees
Hands covering your tear soaked face
Exhausted from the grind of it
Your Soul wants you to come home to yourself
Your own power, life force within
That is not about control
But of love, compassion and goodness
It’s calling to you
In my adulthood, I used to occasionally slam doors when I was oversaturated with my anger. This reaction to my anger was not much different than my toddler son now when he is angry and throws his toys across the room or even at me. Yes, that happens. The only difference between his lashing out as a child and my lashing out as an adult is that one is developmentally appropriate. For him, at almost three years young, he is acting in this way because he hasn’t developed the skill set or impulse control to understand his big emotions. He needs me to help him hold that container for him to work through and learn how to be with his emotions in healthy ways.
As a child, I didn’t have that same support to learn the tools of how to be with my big emotions like anger in healthy relating ways. So as an adult when I acted out with my anger by slamming doors, that was actually my inner child expressing herself. This is what emotional immaturity looks like in adults. Another perspective often overlooked is that those who harbor anger inward also express emotional immaturity by behaving in ways that are self harming in thoughts and/or actions. When we have not forged a loving and mature relationship to ourselves and our emotions, it can seep out of us like an ooze, or an explosion, or often we become numb or dissociate from our experiences. And thus, we are adults behaving like children.
Can you think upon your own experiences like this?
How about those you’ve seen behave in this manner?
Let’s Break It Down
For children, when big emotions surface it can be very overwhelming. Children's minds are developing at a rapid pace and often when they become flooded with emotional overwhelm, their upstairs cognitive brain goes “off line” leaving no room for rational thinking. This also happens to adults. We go "off line" too. In addition children’s impulse control is still developing, so a primal reaction of anger outward like throwing, hitting or biting to help release the energy of the emotion is natural. This movement is actual genius.The body wants to expel the energy of the emotion. When we watch animals we see the same thing. When these experiences happened as children or as adults, and we don't have the compassionate space to release and understand the energy of our pain, we store it in our bodies.
This is trauma. It stays in our bodies and continues to cycle until we stop and turn inward to unravel it.
How we were met as children with our big emotions by our caregivers impacts the way we internalize our own relationship to those emotions, with ourselves and with the world around us. Often, when unresolved internalized anger or shame or any other big emotion follows into adulthood, we react in the same way as we did as children when the emotion or the trigger around the emotion presents, whether conscious or unconscious. This is where the term “re-parenting” comes in. Whether we are caregivers of children or not, we can better know and understand our own relationship with our inner world, and learn new patterns and ways to relate to the emotion that is consuming our thinking mind so that we do not cause harm to ourselves or to others.
So, How Do We Do This?
When unresolved trauma or triggers happen, and they will, it's like a wild animal pulsing within our bodies. We feel the trigger, whether we express it or not. The focus isn't to not have triggers. It is to see that triggers are messengers of unresolved healing within. Because when we are in our trigger trauma we are likely to be more reactive than responsive. We may get defensive and fight, or run (flee), or people please (fawn), or dissociate (freeze). These are all natural nervous system protective mechanisms. The more we understand how we are caught in them, the better we can begin to unwind ourselves from the painful structures.
We need to learn the how.
Telling ourselves to just "let it go" is more like a bandaid. We must get to the root cause to make change. To let go, we must see the patterns we are cycling through our bodies and minds. Just like a caregiver who learns to hold the container for a child's anger and other big emotions, helping the child befriend their experiences, redirect and learn safe and healthy ways to be with their emotions, we as adults must do this for ourselves.
This is how we heal generational trauma.
It is usually the case that we do not have the healing around the trauma to access a release; we cannot shift what we do not see or are unwilling to see and heal. There is a block or impasse that hinders our ability to befriend ourselves. When we can start to see the behavior as a messenger, that a part of us wants to return home, we can begin to see our healing journey in a more spacious and compassionate way.
How I Learned My Needs Better Through A Loving Relationship To My Anger
Did you know that door slamming is the effect of a nervous system in fight response. Not until I began unpacking my trauma as an adult did I understand that what I thought was fleeing, me running away and expressing anger outward by slamming doors, was me actually fighting. What I also learned later on my healing path was that my fight was warranted, but it was misaligned to my inner guidance and personal power. I was giving my power away instead of understanding my anger and what was underneath it. I wasn't operating from my own inner wisdom, I was operating from my wound. I didn’t really know my needs or how to have them met.
Critical judgment outward or inward is often a reflection of an unmet need.
Some unresolved wounding patterns can look like critical judgement or anger outward like door slamming, yelling, name calling, resentment, gossiping and shaming others, and some can also look like critical judgement or anger inward such as negative self talk, self hate, resentment and inner shaming. The pattern I was cycling through was a need not being met, my lack of understanding around my need, maybe at times what that need was, an inability to express it clearly or with certainty or from compassion, an angry rupture that caused harm to myself and others, and then a hangover of guilt and repairing with others. Once I understood this trauma cycling of energy and found healing for those parts of me, my relationship with myself and all those in my life drastically changed, and fast. And my relationship with anger changed. Anger became an ally.
Anger is not bad, though many of my clients to move through healing have had to work with unpacking a belief that anger is bad.Anger is a guardian of our boundaries, and a very important emotion to showing us the truth of our inner relationship to ourselves.
We must be willing to befriend the emotions that we avoid the most.
As children, when we were not met with compassionate curiosity around our big emotions, when we were not given the space to feel fully our emotions without judgement or agenda, the effect can be a conditioned response of learning how to masks parts of ourselves not just from the world, but also from ourselves, denying our very own needs. This also occurs in our young adulthood and adulthood in our relationships. When we deny our needs it slowly begins to erode our connection to ourselves. This separation from Self is a disconnection to our inner wisdom and guidance, to knowing how to meet ourselves, how to see and hear ourselves by ourselves.
Overtime, this separation to Self, these lost parts can become so disconnected to us that we may no longer know what our needs are, let alone how to meet them. This can express itself as anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic fatigue, physical pain, rage outbursts, panic attacks, hopelessness, chronic pain or illness, addictions and so much more.
There Is Hope. There is a Door.
The body holds wisdom.
These painful experiences resurface in our present life as triggers, which are portals to where we store it in the body. We connect to the body to reconnect to the Soul.
In Depth Hypnosis, using a meditative altered state of consciousness, we access the emotion and its location in the body to reclaim, clear and heal on many levels. We do this by understanding aversions, attachments and misconceptions with Applied Buddhism, healing and restoration with Integrative Energy Medicine, age and past life regression, and retrieving lost parts, parts that have been disconnected by the masks we have learned to wear to feel safe, to survive with Earth-based wisdom practices of Applied Shamanism and Transpersonal Psychology.
My self care is community care.
In safe spaces with skilled practitioners is where we learn to relate to our experiences in different and more whole ways. We can learn how to allow ourselves to be fully seen and heard, a very unfamiliar feeling for many of my clients I have found. And in turn, we learn how to see and hear ourselves completely and with compassion, which allows us to gain clarity on knowing our needs and how to take the steps to having them met. We can learn how to regain our inner personal power, connection and deepen a more steadfast relationship to our inner world, which as we know effects all other areas of our life and all our relationships.
Your self care is community care.
For a moment, just sit back and begin to notice your relationship with the emotion of anger.
How do you feel about anger?
When you are angry how do you experience it?
When others are angry around you, how do you experience it?
Do you have a tendency to be outward or inward or a combination with the way you express your anger?
Do you find yourself "never getting angry", is it hard to allow yourself to feel angry?
Now think of other emotions and ask these same questions.
Notice if there is an emotion you avoid feeling or an emotion that you cling too?
These are all messengers for you.
May you be bold in your compassionate curiosity and may your healing unfold back into love.
Our self care is community care.
May all beings know and return home.
and so may it be for me,
and so may it be for you,
and so may it be for all beings,
ART CREDIT: Three steps of anger Painting by Livia oboroceanu