It has been fascinating to see how large a response this radio show received. It really shows me how confused so many people are about how to be with this very powerful emotion, in a way that is healthy and constructive. It really lays the foundation for a future episode on Fear, because when we don’t know how to use our anger to protect us, then Fear, the emotion of Survival has to come in for back up.
But how to respond, rather than react to Anger? That seems to be the biggest question bothering people. We are so used to feeling our anger, and either stuffing it, or reacting to it, there doesn’t seem to be an in–between, and there is. The key here is to do two things: First, notice where you feel it in your body, and what it feels like, then, most importantly, acknowledge it, name it. You may say something like “I’m noticing some anger in my body”. You don’t need to understand in that moment or what it is about, just recognize and name the emotion. If you can stay with that recognition, the anger will eventually show you what it wants you to see, how you need to take care of yourself, or what is not working. What you don’t want to do is say “YOU” are making me angry, when you don’t even know what the anger is about. Own the emotion as your own, and after you delve into it more deeply than you can have a discussion about what didn’t work for you. Taking the blame and criticism (towards others) out of our anger is the first step to being able to work with it in a less destructive way. Our emotions belong to us. No one else MAKES us feel anything. We feel because it is how our Innate Intelligence is communicating with us, giving us information. It’s not about anyone else. If you remember nothing else, this is key.
By getting into a habit of simply naming your emotion, it will allow you to begin to recognize it’s presence in your system, and move you out of being so reactive to it. Then it stops being so frightening, and it stops blocking your access to other feelings as well. The more you can recognize what you are feeling, and allow the wisdom of the emotions to guide you, the more you get to trust your capacity to be empowered with your life.
Be Love. Be Smooth.