Jan

Loving Anger

Loving Anger

One of the most powerful moments of my life came while having tea with a colleague in New York City.   I can’t even remember what we were discussing, but he stopped mid sentence and said to me, “I see that rage behind your eyes.”  I was flabbergasted! “What!?  Rage!?  Me!?  I don’t get angry!  What is he talking about?”  As this quite loud voice in my head desperately tried to argue its case, a vision of my mother’s eyes flickered into my memory.  In truth, I knew exactly what he was talking about.

 

As with many on this planet, my family lineage is littered with ancestral trauma begging to be healed.  This wise young man was seeing the flames of that lineage buried deep within me.  What a gift!  

 

His words started me on a journey toward greater awareness, acceptance and ultimately gratitude for my anger.   I sat in groups and listened as people spoke about how angry they were.  I was given opportunities to express myself and eventually discovered that my rage had been silenced some time ago.  Where some in my family could be labeled “rageaholics”, I had created a pattern of releasing tears the moment I got angry.  Trying bitterly to be nothing like the others.  In this way, I came to believe a false reality: that I never really got angry.

 

As I started to reconnect with my anger in much the same way Daniel tried to catch that fly with his chopsticks in Karate Kid, I found a renewed ability to protect myself.  First, I would hear a small voice in my head say, “No.”  Or I would just get a faint sense that I was not in agreement with what was happening.  Eventually, I got the nerve to start actually saying, “No!”  My strength grew.  The more comfortable I got with my anger the more bold I felt I could be.  I found myself stepping out further into the world and sharing what I thought instead of what I thought others wanted to hear.  I also came to learn the somewhat ugly truth, that in fact I did get angry prior to this discovery, but I was so ashamed of my anger, I tended to block the experiences out or somehow rewrite history.

 

The work is never over.  There are still times when the fight or flight takes me: times when I stun in disbelief or fume to the point of bleary sight.  But, I can also be angry and remain grounded.   I can be angry and think rationally.  I can be angry and still treat people with love and respect.  I can be angry and set boundaries.

 

I am so very grateful to this wise young man who had the audacity to peer deep within me and share what he saw.  I am grateful to myself for being willing to dive into the shadows and claim yet another piece of my powerful self.   We can all do this for and with each other as we head down the sometimes seemingly long path of reclaiming ourselves.

About the author

Community.Relationship.Intimacy.Sex.Birth and so much more. Do you know how to find yourself and the space between you and another? Nekole can help you find your way. One small warning....Nekole has been known to change lives!

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