Anger as fire…
I didn’t see healthy anger growing up. I saw a lot of stuffing it until it exploded, or passive aggressive anger that came out sideways. I was told nice and kind was better than anger.
I also hear from a lot of my clients that they grew up around explosive and abusive anger, which is also not knowing a healthy way to process rage.
It’s not surprising that I had a lot of trouble with my own anger as an adult I made it wrong. I made it bad. I was ashamed of it. I felt guilty for having it. So, I put it in a box.
The fire that was jammed up in that tiny box would explode out of me through intense exercise and sports, exceeding and pushing myself in school and work, dancing until my clothes were drenched, and drinking alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol. When alcohol hit my body, we never knew who would come out...the fun and wild side of me or the deeply sad and angry side of Gwen that had been stuffed for years.
So it’s not surprising that when I gave up alcohol I had a lot of anger to process. Lots and lots of anger. As well as lots and lots of sadness that is always underneath of anger.
What I’ve learned from my anger is that it is a healthy emotion when it can be shared, witnessed, processed, and healed in a safe and loving way.
That the fire of anger is really sadness and hurt of something that’s been burning us without acknowledgement or recognition. That depression is anger and sadness turned inwards. And it deserves my attention and love even more because of that. Anger means something is off. It’s a red flag to discover what boundary has been violated.
I’ve been moving through some anger again and it’s humbling to remember we are all spiritual beings having these human experiences. Some of the things that help me process anger are:
1. Give the angry part a voice with a neutral person who will listen. Having a neutral person means talking with someone who can listen without giving advice, taking sides, or fueling the anger that is already present inside of you.
2. Give the angry part a voice on paper through free form writing. Let it talk. Get it out. Write until there is nothing left. Then burn that paper and fire watch the energy of the fire match the energy of the fire in the paper and it turn to ash, allowing Mother Earth to compost it.
3. Schedule a Breathwork session to clear it out of my body energetically. Often times we can mentally and emotionally process anger but its still trapped in our energetic threading and then depletes our energy and life force, leaks out into other areas of our life. When it goes untreated for long periods of time it makes us sick.
4. Engage in intense physical exercise that has a mental and emotional process integrated in the exercise so it’s fully released. I love Taryn Toomey’s The Class for this.
5. I’ll be sharing more about my 5-step process for processing anger in a LIVE webinar for you because sometimes it is helpful to read and watch to embody the learning.