Relating with Anger 😑

3things jordan myska allen micro-transformations personal growth relatefulness stayinlove Jun 09, 2022

 

So many of us have had bad experiences with anger—being hurt or hurting others—that we’ve learned it's dangerous and we push it away. But anger comes out anyway. It comes out at others in defensiveness, lashing out, sarcasm, blame. It comes out in self-criticism and self-hatred. We then find ways to avoid these bad feelings, coping through strategies like addiction or positive thought, creating a double avoidance. We never hear the feeling's message and we never allow the love and life force locked in it to flow.

Just expressing anger doesn’t work either. We end up blocking off our hearts and our attunement toward others to follow some sort of technique or idea in the blind hope that maybe we’ll be able to hear the signal in all the noise of righteous indignation. We end up buying the anger's justification at the price of our own power + another's humanity. Hitting pillows or screaming may offer temporary relief, but doesn’t seem to fundamentally shift how we relate with this basic emotion.

Instead I recommend gently allowing the sensation without buying the story, staying aware, and exploring how we relate with it. My current favorite version of this is a somatic process of moving the raw sensation of anger in a whole body cycle. I imagine moving the anger-energy up my spine, through my head, and then down my front to my pelvis, and back around again. I titrate my exploration whenever I notice overwhelm or distraction. Then I listen and relate from the new present moment. Give it a shot right now if you'd like. You may be surprised that you're already capable of being present to your anger—without beating up yourself or someone else.

 

With love, Jordan

 

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