I submitted this blog to Tiny Buddha on the subject of anger. I’ll be submitting a different blog to them and I thought this one was a perfect one to put here. It’s a story about how I figured out that using my anger as motivation was the key to expressing it.
I used to be an angry woman…
I would wake up every morning just the same…jaw clenched, shoulders tight, with a slew of nasty thoughts running through my head.
“Why does the alarm have to go off so loudly?”
“I wish my dog would just shut up.”
“Why is that person at the gas station being so nice?”
Moving through my mornings with a sour attitude rarely made my days or afternoons much better. My life felt like an endless string of things that pissed me off. I was always angry and I guess I figured life was supposed to be that way.
At the time, my husband and I were going through infertility. We’d tried so hard to get pregnant and it was agony month after month as we saw negative test after negative test.
I was so angry at myself and the world because we couldn’t just do this thing everyone else so easily could. It felt like my body and my life were betraying me.
Being in a space where you’re angry at your body is suffocating because there is literally no escape. I saw failure every time I caught a glimpse of myself. My head was a toxic place to be and it felt like I had two choices.
Continue on with my life as I was, angry, pouring acid onto myself and into all of my relationships, or start taking responsibility for my feelings and the energy I was bringing into my life.
Using anger as motivation to change my life
Choosing the latter and using anger as motivation, I began by sitting in silence with my anger. As I let the emotion be fully present in my body, a temper tantrum came.
Yelling, screaming, crying, thrashing my body around on the bed. Ripping up paper into tiny bits and throwing it all over the floor. Taking a marker and scribbling in a notebook until I ripped through the entire thing.
I let my anger ravage that room. It fully consumed me and my body and in doing so, I felt an immense release.
Releasing my anger so fully shaped me into a new woman. A woman that could be fully in touch with her anger and not implode or hurt anyone around me.
In choosing to run towards my anger, I chose to understand myself.
Can you use your anger as motivation to deepen your connection?
Allowing my anger to be fully present helped me understand who I was outside of my anger.
Letting my anger be the dominant emotion in my body was intimidating to me for so long. I was scared that if I let it be there, without resistance, I would open up something I wouldn’t be able to put back. But in letting it be fully present, without judgement, I was able to deepen my awareness of who I was outside of my anger. My anger didn’t consume me, it empowered me.
Numbing big emotions doesn’t make them go away.
For most of my life, I was an expert at numbing my big emotions, especially anger. I’ve realized with much reflection that numbing and hiding from big emotions served pieces of me that wanted to keep me safe. But these pieces of me were holding on to things that I no longer wanted to be a part of. I realized that if I wanted to live a full, adventurous life, I was going to have to be able to work through my big emotions. As I made the choice to let my anger exist without running, I understood that I could sit with other big emotions without being swallowed.
Judgement doesn’t have to be a part of the process.
The longer I sat in judgement of my anger, the longer I kept myself in cycles of anger and the guilt and overcompensation that came with it. My judgment of myself about my anger kept me from fully feeling and ultimately being able to release it. Once I released the judgement of myself, I was able to understand that anger is only an emotion. And our emotions don’t define who we are.
Angry emotions do not define me.
In moving through the process of freeing myself from my anger, I’ve realized that I had let anger have a defining power over me. I am not an angry woman. Anger, sadness, and even happiness don’t define who I am. Emotions are merely things we feel and when they can exist without us getting caught up in them, we make a whole lot more room in our lives for things that bring us joy.
Freedom from anger invites peace in its place.
There is another way to live life besides through an angry lens. I’ve come to know that I do not have to go through life feeling angry and inconvenienced at every little turn. Sometimes, things just happen and I can choose to be angry or I can choose to move on. When I choose to move on, I can be more present in each moment and when I can do that, I have a profound sense of trust and peace.
Anger is protective
When I wasn’t spending all of my days behind anger-colored glasses, I started to understand that anger really is protective. When we become angry about things, there is a little piece of us that isn’t getting our needs met. When I started to get curious about what needs I wasn’t having met, I could see that these were places where I wasn’t upholding my boundaries. My anger was working to protect me in those moments.
Letting my anger be fully present has become one of my most spiritual practices and it’s been a doorway into myself. In running towards my anger, I’ve also been able to release so much tension and acid in my body.
This has made room for more joy, more compassion and more peace within my life. A process to walk through my other big emotions was revealed, as well. And for these reasons, I am so eternally grateful for having anger as one of my biggest teachers.
If you are in a place where you want to begin using your anger as motivation to deepen your connection with yourself, I am here for you. As an anger coach, I help women to unleash their inner divinity by fully expressing their anger.