Eight Stages of Anger

Anger. It is a subject not discussed very much, nor do we like to admit to it, especially to ourselves that we are angry. But it is still there not matter how much we try to ignore it or distract ourselves from it. Just like toxic waste buried in barrels into the ground that eventually seeps into the water and causes a chain event of lethal deaths, so too does unaddressed anger. It can take on a variety of forms: passive aggressive, cynicism/criticism, channeled into obsessive behavior such as work/working out/hobbies/shopping/gambling/addictions, self destructive behavior, and lastly taking it out on others.

Since I have been one who has had difficulty in using my voice to set boundaries or let someone know when they have been hurtful, I had become masterful at being passive aggressive. From early on I was taught not to speak back to authority figures nor elders. They were always right and always had the right of way. Always and in always. Being a girl, society also told me that we were “sugar and spice and everything nice”. Thus girls were not supposed to get angry, just like boys were not supposed to cry. These adages and paradigms of restricting expression are cruel. They prevent a person from being a fully expressed human being and processing normal life emotion in a healthy manner. It is confinement of the Spirit. It is like caging up the Spirit. It is putting the Spirit in a straitjacket.

When a person is continually stuffing down, suppressing, and oppressing their anger or tears, eventually, just like a volcano, it reaches a boiling over point. Hopefully at this point, one has the presence of mind and the humility of ego to reach out for help and heal in a safe and gentle manner.

Boiling Over Point (Image credit: CNN)

Until I learn or learned how to use my voice to set boundaries or let people know that their words or actions have caused me deep pain, I was one who kept “turning the other cheek”, stuffing it down, and using passive aggressive means as forms of coping. In hindsight, I now see a pattern.

1. Awareness of Anger or Justified Anger

Just like Jesus was righteously angry at the exploitation of pilgrims at the temple, so too are there times in our lives when others have truly caused us hurt, pain, loss, suffering. When we become aware of anger, a feeling of indignation begins to rise up: part of it is at the other, and of part of it can also be at ourselves for allowing it. At this point it is wise not to act or react because at this point we can be at the mercy of our emotion. This can be dangerous and can be like pouring gasoline on the fire/heat of the moment.  At the awareness point, it is wise to take a deep breath, step away, process the anger, then dialogue with the other. Depending on your expert level of awareness and ego refinement, the step away moment can be a few seconds or a few months/years.

2. Payback: The Silent Treatment  

In my novice years of anger management, or rather anger suppression, the only way I knew how to let the other person know that they had hurt me was to withhold my “love/attention/me” from them. I used the silent treatment until I felt they had “suffered enough” for their misdeed.

3. Space for Healing 

On the flip side, I also now see that this silent treatment period was a also a period of healing. Since I did not know how to communicate my feelings of betrayal or dialogue about it calmly, I needed the space and time to process, heal, and forgive.

4. Personal Responsibility 

When we are slighted we can feel like victims or like life is happing to us, rather than for us and because of us. Being in victim mode or having that mentality is an invitation for more misdeeds against one’s self. We keep recreating the same scenarios and slights. The people and places may change, but the same transactions keep repeating themselves. At this point we need to do some deep Soul dives, self reflections, and recognize how we have contributed to or even invited such personal affronts.

5. Rewire our Thinking and Behaving 

Upon taking personal responsibility for how others treat us, we then have the work of rewiring our minds of what respect looks and feels like to us, how we communicate our boundaries in a graceful and effective manner, and lastly behaving in such a way that invites respect from the self and others. This stage takes a lot of work and a lot of effort. But I have found that when we are working on a new self-evolution project, the Universe sends us MANY and abundant opportunities for practice and growth.

6. Forgive 

It is so very easy to stew and to marinate in our anger or silent treatment or acting out. If we are not careful we can stay in this phase for months, years, or even decades. Lord have mercy! If we are not careful, our pride and self-justification or self-righteousness can build a house on our anger, rather than just temporarily pitch a tent upon it. The healing time is a time where we build faith in ourselves, life, and the other(s) again. This is a time when we become strong and whole whole again. Forgiveness is a decision. It is work. It is a Gift we give to ourselves and all of humanity. We are the ones who benefit the most from forgiving because our journey becomes lighter and more joyful.

7. Move on. Love, trust again AND maintain healthy boundaries or communicate what is and is not appropriate. 

After healing and forgiveness we live again. But this time, we take and employ our newfound personal responsibility, self-respect, voice, strength, and communication skills for a healthy and joyful life.

8. Gratitude 

The final step in forgiveness is when we look back and see just how much we have grown, learned, evolved, become stronger and a more complete and whole person. At this point we realize that the slights and hurts were a Gift as they helped us transform. They were for our benefit and refinement. We even get to a point where we are grateful to the person(s) for the lessons and grown that their slight brought to us, if we do the work of forgiveness. It can be done with and abundance of Grace and Humility.

Anger is an indication that something is not right. It is a warning light. It is an invitation into healing when we step into it and embrace its lesson. Let yourself express your anger in a safe and healthy environment that does not hurt another. Do not judge yourself when you are purging yourself of these dark emotions. Always keep in mind, you are not these dark emotions, they are just the byproduct of a challenging experience.

Forgiveness is Beauty.

Ask, invite, beseech Divine help in your forgiveness journey. Do the work They present to you. You will be in awe and wonder at all the miracles along the way.

Abundant Grace, Wisdom, Healing, Humility, and Forgiveness,                                      Irena As I Am                                                                                                       03/27/2018

Monthly Pilgrimage

Heavenly journey of delicious, nutritious, and conscious  joy

Once a month I make a pilgrimage to Delux Burger in Phoenix. I’ve been doing this for years and years now. It satiates my red meat cravings and my body’s nutritional requirements. When I first started going there for my burger craving satiation I was not fully aware of why I was led there. But in time it became clear to me. They use meat from conscious cattle ranches. I am quite sure they have other meals on the menu but I only and always get the same dish: Delux Burger, medium rare, lettuce wrap it please (occasionally, I’ll bun it up), sweet potato fries, and all aioli sauce, (hold the ketchup – why would anyone want ketchup when the aioli sauce is so delicious – i could drink it as a milkshake – not quite, but almost), please. I have tried other burger places, but I always gravitate back to Delux.

Initially, I ate, consumed, enjoyed the burger mindlessly, not fully aware of what I was doing and the ripple effect I was creating from a simple act of feeding myself one meal – well in actuality two for me. That is until  I started becoming more and more sensitive to my purchasing decisions, to the animal spirit world, and to energy. This awareness and Gift opened up a whole world of blessings and HUGE responsibilities. The blessings came in the form of me choosing food and personal care products which were clean, conscious, and Love based. The responsibility came in the form of now that I knew better, I could no longer in good conscience not do not better. The double negative said another way is that  in knowing and feeling the energy of what I was eating or putting on or in my body, I could no longer choose food and personal care products that were not made with integrity and love.

In an earlier HerStory article of mine called “It’s Very Complicated”, I shared how difficult it became for me to eat meat. I began knowing and feeling the Oneness with everyone, animals, nature, and inanimate objects. I began seeing animals as my soul brothers and sisters. It repulsed me to eat meat of any kind because I felt like I was eating my sister or brother. That’s how sensitive and attuned I got. Many people are experiencing these shifts in these days. There were times when I saw others eating meat that I wanted to throw up because it was so revolting to me. During this period I visited the Biosphere 2 in Oracle/Tuscon, AZ. There I learned that the human inhabitants became so close to their animal companions, which were supposed to be their protein food source that no one could do the “deed” (slaughtering). Thus they became vegetarians for the duration of the experiment and the animals were spared. Life was mirroring back to me my inner and outer journeys of what I was struggling with and working through. Although I was not raising any animals, but because I became so sensitive, such an empath, that I felt them and was at one with them. I did not want their blood on my hands. I did not want to be responsible for their slaughter. I was not going to be a cannibal. I would live without eating my brothers and sisters. Or so I thought and so I tried.

Over a period of three to four years several times I went vegan. Each time I lasted about thirty to forty days. Each time I almost made myself sick because I felt so depleted in the nutrients provided from meat. Each time when I went back to eating meat, I would crycrycry and then cry some more, feel tremendous guilt, and apologize profusely to the sacrificed animal, my sister, that I was eating her. In this phase I would tell people that I outsourced or subcontracted my killing or murdering. Oh yes, I dragged others along on my inner guilt trip. On one such occasion, the person responded back by saying that “cows are delicious”. This statement haunted me for years. Yet, on the other hand, I also felt much better after I did eat meat, I felt like life was coming back into my body. I felt strong again in ways that plant, legume, and nut proteins could not fulfill. It was a heavy duty catch twenty two. If I ate meat, I felt selfish. If I did not eat meat, I felt the life force leaving me and me becoming weaker and weaker. That’s what happens when you become closer to feeling and knowing Oneness with all of Creation. You feel deeply every one and everything that enters your orbital sphere.

As always, Grace came riding in on a white horse sweeping me out of my emotional quagmire, my mental conundrum, and my energetic dilemma. Grace showed over time through various books, conversations, and insights how it does not have to be an either/or stance, that it can be both. It can be an “and” way of life. Grace rescued me from me.  Grace eased my mental and emotional anguish and showed me how to make wise, loving, gracious and gratitude based choices. Grace showed me that everything and everyone is a gift, a blessing, and a sacrifice. We are gifts to each other. We are a blessing to each other. We also offer ourselves as a sacrifice to each other. The sacrifice looks different for everyone. Each has their own path, their own mission, their own passion.

Passion = pass + i + on. We pass on the “i” of us to others and thus to God. We pass on our i or eye or essence to Creation. This passing on of ourselves nourishes others and is our redeeming gift and privilege.

With this shift and insight, my burger eating experience took on another dimension. I became deeply and profoundly grateful for the nourishment and the joy in the journey of my nourishing . I went form being a mindless consumer where the end justifies the means to a grateful participant in the entire circle of living life on our earth biosphere bubble. Now, when the hamburger is presented to me and before me, I don’t dig into it. I stop. I take a breath. I think of everyone involved with getting this burger on the plate. There is first and foremost the Holy Spirit of the Cow which was sacrificed; there is the farmer and all her/his helpers; the veterinarian; the people who helped build the barns and the fences around the pastures and the suppliers of the barn and fence materials; there is that person who did the “deed”, or the person who invented the machine that is doing the “deed”; there are the people, knives, packaging, and electricity it takes to then dismember, package, and refrigerate the sacrificed cow; then there are the trucking companies and drivers and distributors; then there are the restauranteurs with their art and helpers of creating a delicious meal. It takes the whole village to keep the village going. The globe is the village. Lastly and most importantly, there is God for sending sun and rain and grass and the Gift of the Cow. Now I can begin eating and enjoying my hamburger, consciously, gracefully, graciously, and gratefully.  I now know just how many people it takes for something simple to appear: many, countless.

Just like the Native Americans used to thank the Buffalo Spirit in advance of their hunt for offering itself up to them, we too need to take a moment to practice mindfulness and gratitude before a meal – especially if there is meat in it.

I still remember the first time I consciously ate a wild caught salmon. I had been purchasing my fish from regular food stores but in this awareness journey I began purchasing some of my nourishment at Whole Foods. They have a fresh fish department whose focus is on sustainability and they will cook the fish for you. Since my kitchen is primarily for display purposes only (very basic cooking is what I do), I loved that they prepared the fish. I was so excited to bring home and eat a salmon that was not farmed but one that had roamed the wild seas. The night that I ate the wild caught salmon I had a dream. I dreamt that I was in the ocean swimming with the salmon and then I and the salmon merged – our energy became One. We became One. We/i swam in the cold waters off of the coast of Alaska. The sense of freedom was wonderful. The feeling of the freedom entered into my blood, my veins,  and my energy. It was after this meal and this dream that I realized that we absorb and we become the energy that we eat. “Irena, now that you know this, be VERY MINDFUL of how you nourish your body.”, was an imprint onto my being. I am and will always be grateful to the Holy Spirit of that Salmon that gave me that Gift of merging with him.

The opposite is also true. If one eats the soul&spirit of an animal that has been raised in tight cruel quarters, that energy will also merge with theirs.

I have come full circle in my meat eating journey.

Take Charge of your life, nutrition, and experiences,                                                      Irena As I Am                                                                                                        02/21/2018