I am sharing this from a presentation I gave. Now I am making it available openly to empower women. Women are the ones speaking up and saying no to the abuse they have tolerated for so long. Reading this material and actually doing the practices, will assist women in setting healthy boundaries and experiencing more fulfillment in their lives. It will help make the families in this world more sane and healthy.
Our Society is Emotionally Retarded!
Society, many religious and spiritual traditions discourage healthy anger expressions as well as many of the other emotions including positive ones! Women are more naturally gifted with emotional intelligence and therefore often at an advantage to spiritually awaken since closer to Source since they are closer to their feelings.
Irresponsible Anger is Scary
Violence- emotionally, verbally, intellectually, physically, sexually
Causes harm, impaired or destroyed relationships, physical damage, criminal behavior
Shades of Red
- Anger is a “hot” emotion; it is emotional FIRE and like fire often needs containment to not cause damage.
- Irritation, displeasure, annoyance, aggravation, frustration, indignation, anger, outrage, livid, rage, fury, wrath etc.
Repressed Anger- Get is out!
- Stored anger is a result of previous anger not fully experienced.Often it is from childhood when it wasn’t safe to express it and the child didn’t have proper or sufficient bresources to cope with it. Stored anger is toxic to the body.
- May be associated with depression, rashes, acne, cold sores,acute inflammation in body or joints,acid reflux, gastric ulcers, heartburn, indigestion, inflamed eyes etc.
- Often associated with judgment, impatience, criticism, intolerance,excessive perfectionist tendencies.
- Often stored in liver, gallbladder, intestines, genitals, shoulders, jaw. Can be anywhere in body.
- Dangerous anger/violence is usually stored rage that gets triggered by current circumstances and “hitchhikes” on current reaction.
- Unhealthy men have learned to use anger to control women. They escalate their anger in stages using just enough to get what they want. Undeveloped women do this also.
Real Time Anger
Current anger is a message that something isn’t quite right- usually a violation has occurred, a boundary has been crossed. The level of anger is appropriate to the situation.
The transmutation of anger into response-ability doesn’t take place when you choose to use meditation in an escapist way, pretend that everything is fine, or play the forgiveness game.
The Gifts of Responsible Anger
- Makes us whole- We are designed to feel the full range of emotions just as a rainbow is made of many colors including RED.
- More energy- lots of energy is stored in anger and TONS of energy being used to keep it buried or at bay that comes back into your system when anger allowed to be felt.
- Energy to protect the self physically, emotionally, intellectually, energetically etc.
- Energy to set boundaries or enforce them.
- Respect- Our demonstration of our self-respect by setting and enforcing boundaries teaches others we value ourselves and often leads to them respecting us more.
- Fosters true intimacy- not sharing honestly creates barriers between people that build up over time.
- People value people who are emotionally responsible. Men adore women who can communicate responsibly.
- People can’t manipulate you with threats of anger when you have healed it in yourself.
- You will attract healthier people to you as you transform your stored anger.
- Ability to feel anger and respond in healthy manner in the moment
- A more peaceful family, workplace and society.
- Often is step depressed people need to take to move out of depressive states.
- Direct and clear communications re: anger are better received than “sideways” anger expressions or passive-aggressive behavior.
- Makes our lives more productive, effective, peaceful, colorful, flavorful, passionate, ALIVE!!!
Inquiries About Our Conditioning
Most effective if you do this exercise in writing.
- What judgments do I carry about anger?
- Who taught me my primary lessons about anger?
- How did my caregivers react when I was angry as a child?Teen?
- What age did I fully shut down my anger if I did that?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how comfortable am I with my anger and expression of anger?
- What do I see as the gifts of anger?
- Am I open to being in my power to a greater level?
- What less than ideal strategies do I use to try to control other people’s anger for my comfort?
- Who do I know who is a good role model for demonstrating heathly relationship with anger?
Our Relationship to Our Anger
- First, work towards owning it more fully.Whether you choose to share it with others or not it is helpful to be honest with yourself about what is true for you.
- If you are not sure if have suppressed anger ask your family members, friends, co-workers etc.
- What did I thinkthat created this emotion? Event/Thought/Emotion
- Be careful not to confuse thoughts with emotions which is very common and can impede effective communication.
Template: When such and such happened or I heard him, her say ____________ I thought, I interpreted it, I made the meaning ______________ and I felt ___________.
- Where do I feel it in my body?
- What is my anger trying to tell me?
- Am I willing to feel it more fully?
- Am I able in this moment to feel it completely?
- How would I like to be with my anger right now?
- Are there feelings underneath my anger? Hurt? Fear? Sadness? Shame? Guilt?
- Is there a belief I am powerless and/or helpless now? (Often this clues us to the victim child or may be situational as in someone is dying).
- Is there something I need to express to someone?
- Am I willing to express it?
- Do I need support to express it? If so, what support do I need?Am I willing to ask for it?
- Is there something I need to do? Is refraining from action the best course?
- Am I angry with myself for something I did or omitted to do?
Communicating Anger Responsibly to Another
- Anger can be “hot” and relational if expressed responsibly. (Susan Campbell, PhD, “Getting Real”. Rage can be expressed responsibly in the moment if you have ability to contain it. If contained the person will feel safe.
- When we don’t share our truth with people we are no longer in full relationship with them. Most important is to be intimate with ourselves.
- Don’t “leak” anger directly to others. Talk to other’s to calm down and get clarity but consider discussing it directly with person who triggered it for resolution.
- If stored anger is triggered consider using words such as, “When you said that old anger got triggered in me” or “when you did that a button in me was pushed”.
- Only express to safe people you trust. There are situations, such as work etc., where it may not be appropriate to share your feelings directly.
- Contemplate if “I don’t want to hurt them or they can’t handle it” is an excuse you use to avoid communicating with someone.
- Example of event/thought/emotion communication: When you interrupted me while I was speaking I made the meaning you thought what I was saying wasn’t important and I feel angry. (Stop speaking, allow pause and see if other desires to speak)
- If afraid of sharing anger can open with- “I want to share something with you and I have fear about expressing it. I fear you won’t receive it well. Are you willing to hear it? Is this a good time to discuss this?” “If this isn’t a good time when can we get together to discuss this?”
- If very upset consider taking a time out. “I am very upset and need to be with myself. I will be back when I am calmer”. (Communicates care and connection, not abandoning other).
- Don’t minimize by saying, “I’m a little angry”. Consider saying, “I am angry”,
“I feel angry”, “I felt angry” (irritated, frustrated, aggravated etc.) “Anger is in me” or “anger was in me”, “I feel rage in this moment” or “I felt rage”.
- Take full responsibility- work to end blaming.Avoid the common expression “you made me angry” or “when you did that/said that it made me angry”. It is your anger, own your reaction.
- Allow your feeling to express in your tone of voice.
Dyad Work to Increase Power
What am I most angry about?
What is my level of fear in admitting, experiencing or feeling my anger 0 to 10? _______
What is my level of anger currently in my body? 0-10 (0=no anger) to (ten = intense rage)? _______
Where do I feel the anger in my body? What color is it? Texture? Size? Shape? Density?
What is my anger telling me or trying to tell me?
Am I angry with myself? If yes, what did I do or not do that I am angry about?
Is there something I need to do or communicate to someone?
What is the next step I need to take to be more responsible with my anger?
Am I willing to do that now? If no, what is my resistance?
Additional ideas? Comments?
Possibilities for Releasing Anger
- Pound on bed, couch or cushion
- Scream if appropriate to situation you are in.
- Scream underwater, into a pillow or in a car (but not while driving).
- Break things you don’t mind destroying, chop wood, clean the house, get a piece of red meat and tear it to shreds!
- See a therapist comfortable with anger
- Go to a workshop where anger is welcomed or encouraged.
- Share it with someone you trust.
- Remember resentments are like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.
- Write/Journal unedited. Use dominant and then non-dominant hand writing.
- Paint or other creative art
- Meditate if anger is mild and going into anger and not escaping or transcending it.
Decreasing Excessive Fire in the Body
- Ayurveda (Ancient Eastern Indian system) teaches ways to decrease fire (pitta) in the body. Avoid spicy foods, caffeine, red meat, deep fried foods, regular alcohol, tobacco, salty, sour and highly processed foods.
- Website: https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/blog-the-banyan-insight/details/cleansing-excess-pitta-from-the-body
- Consider liver/gallbladder cleanse
Ideals to Strive Toward/Progress Not Perfection
- The ultimate ideal is to fully feel your feelings in the moment.We abandon ourselves when we abandon our emotions.
- Have your thoughts, emotions and actions be congruent.
Not all therapists, clergy or spiritual teachers are competent to help you with anger! Ask them how they dealt with their own rage and notice their response! You want someone who has worked through their own rage and is at peace with yours for them to be helpful.
- The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans.(recommended reading for most women living in a patriarchal society).
- Man Alive is wonderful resource for men learning to end emotional, physical, verbal violent behaviors