D(enial) + Anger = Danger
The denial of anger could lead one to danger.
“The anger of a friend toward a friend, and the anger of parents toward their children – and of God toward men – is not a storm that uproots the tree, but a wind that strengthens the tree, and rids it of rotten fruit, so that the healthy fruit will increase in number and beauty.” St. Nicholai of Zica
This is a very interesting perspective on anger. This anger journey I have taken, or rather, The Flow of Anger, took me on its journey. It was like getting into a river raft boat and heading down into class five rapids where one gets tossed about and tossed out. But, I did not even know I was angry. That is the scary part. I was so unaware of the deep deep deep underlying seething anger that I just plodded along on life’s path by covering it up, running from it, and dealing with it in two ways: being a super-being, and being a passive-aggressive being. The super being me showed up being as super positive, super congenial, super people pleasing, super accommodating, and, in super denial. That is one side of the coin. The other side of the coin my anger came out by my being passive aggressive. I would be angry on the inside, pleasant on the outside, but my actions revealed my true inner state. Rather than facing and expressing my feelings, or god-forbid, me discussing my feelings, I would counteract with my stubborn stance. It was subterfuge. It was a veiled protest.
Even though I was a married adult woman and a co-partner in a successful business, underneath it all I saw myself as a girl, a little girl. This inner little girl, about five years old was the real person showing up in the adult life. She did not know how to stand up for herself, speak up for herself, and provide for herself. This little girl had to maneuver and navigate in an adult world and in her adult body, even though her emotional developmental age stood still and had not progressed past her tender five year old self.
She did not see nor feel herself as an adult, nor the successful businesswoman everyone said she was. But rather, she saw herself as this little girl pretending to be an adult. It was a scary high tight rope she was on. She was tip toeing on egg shells. She was doing her best to please the adults and their expectations. Like a duck is drawn to water, this little girl had two imprints on her that dictated her attitude and behavior. The first being – little girls are to be seen and not heard – thus, stay quiet, keep quiet, and, the corner is your place of abode. The second being – little girls do not get angry – it was a big No.No.No! The expression of anger was not allowed, it was shut down, it was frowned upon, it was not the way sweet little girls ought to behave. They must be sweet at all times. (Note: “Must” is a word that i disdain now.)
Oh my! Dear Lord have mercy! Abundant mercy at that! Not just a dollop scoop of mercy. Not just a bucket full of mercy. Not just an ocean full of mercy. But the Eternal Mercy of the Cosmic Consciousness of Christ.
Interesting Side Note: Since I grew up this way, observing more that speaking, my observation skills became laser sharp and super astute. I became a masterful surveyor of human interactions, nuances, and intentions. I also became an accomplished listener. I was the go to therapist for adults and strangers. In this respect, I advanced well beyond my years. See, there is always a blessing in everything, even though we do not know why at the time and even though it may seem like an injustice. God always uses the clay of our lives to make something beautiful, in time and with patience. Then there is the deeper and more eternal perspectives of Soul Contracts, Karmic Debts, and lessons needed for growth. These were some of the other reasons for why I was set up the way I was by the Cosmos in my journey. Deep deep deep are the layers.
Add to the above formula or imprint the Christian mentality that was in my head: turn the other cheek, forgive forgive forgive – seventy times seven hundred, and anger is not a Christian virtue. Oh no, not anger – a good Christian girl/woman does not get angry, let alone display anger – no no no, a big ‘NoNo’ at that. Oh yes, I would on occasion point to Jesus turning over the tables in his anger, but then I would quickly retract and laugh, out loud. It was my way of putting my toe in the water of anger, but not actually swimming in it. I did not think that it was acceptable, nor did I even know what that would look like. I had to learn how to express my anger.
Now I am not saying that I never got angry or expressed anger, because I had. But it was superfluous anger, not working with and through the real source of it, and it was projected at people and things that were irrelevant to the truth of my anger. It was at small slights. It was at world events. It was at politicians and leaders. It was directed at things, events and people who had nothing to do with the cause of my anger and were not even in my life.
Meanwhile, deep within me, like a volcano, the anger fire was building and rising slowly to the top being stoked with each occurrence. It was dormant for a long time just hovering at the surface but not exploding or boiling over. YET!
I now see the expression anger as a basic human function and necessity, like going to the bathroom. Who in their right mind would deny themselves the gift (and joy) of the relief and release of going to the bathroom. Emotions are just like that too. The two are analogous. We have a life experience. Likewise, we eat a meal. From each meal our body savors, processes, digests, absorbs the nutrients, and lastly releases the leftovers, the waste. No one would even think of holding it in for days, years, let alone decades. If it does not come out, it becomes toxic and lethal. Likewise with emotions. We have a life experience. It can bring us joy or heartache. Joy, laughter, and the rainbow emotions are very socially acceptable in their expressions. It’s the shadow ones that are shunned, shut down, and discouraged. We the people are very uncomfortable when someone has or is expressing the shadow or the moon emotions. We try to distract ourselves and others. We deny them. We ignore them. We stuff them down deeper with food, substances, sugar, work, sex, and obsessions over gossip, sports, politics, hobbies and other people’s business. We runrunrun from them by being busybusybusy. But that does not erase them nor negate them nor heal them. Healing them is by feeling them. Healing them is by stopping to look at them, acknowledge them, name them, and express them in a safe manner that does not harm others.
I know. I’ve been on both sides of the coin: the denial and the healing. In 2008 I was in a marriage counselors office when the counselor said to me a most preposterous and false (I thought) statement and question,
“Why are you angry at your parents (and a number of other people).”
My knee jerk response was,
“I’m not angry at my parents (and a number of other people).”
(Note: The stronger the denial, the deeper it is buried and suppressed.)
Oh my! Lord have mercy! Mercy on me! Mercy on the heavens! Mercy on all the people in my life! Mercy on the next TEN YEARS of my life.He not only opened a can of worms or a Pandora’s Box with that question, he opened up a cistern full of toxicity and set the tone and theme for the next ten years of my life. Such a simple little question did that.
Just the awareness and then the acknowledgment of anger, or any issue, is, I feel half the way to healing. One can not heal or work toward wholeness if one is not aware nor willing to admit that there is a hole that needs the Love and Light of God. But once one says, “oh yes, I have a booboo” and then if one invites and invokes Divine Assistance in healing the pain, the prayer will be answered.
The journey of anger and working with it and through it was
HEART WRENCHING, emotionally taxing, physically exhausting, and
humbling humbling humbling humbling. I thought it would only be a few months or so, but it ended up being YEARS. When there is decades worth of built up anger, When the anger was not in my awareness, When the anger was suppressed, oppressed, ignored, denied, covered up, not socially acceptable to bring up or discuss or work through,
the Healing also had to be radical to get me to acknowledge it and then have the courage to work with it and through it, until it was all out and healed.
I also realized, or rather it was shown to me, that I did not want to (and that it would not be wise to) live or go through life with that “toxic energy” in me and worse yet, seeping out of me onto those I encountered and loved.
This was all done with an ABUNDANCE OF GRACE. i am Humbly Grateful, irena as i am 02/08/2018
PS Now, my encounters and engagements with the other(s) is MORE AUTHENTIC, grace filled and LOVING because there is not this ball of “uckyicky stuff” between us. The communication lines & channels are more clean and more authentic by the Grace of God.
How i processed and dealt with that anger…well, that is another story for another day.