I’m going to share about anger and rage. As a woman, this can feel like tricky territory. Not all of us contain our anger, but so many of us do.
Born, in the later 50’s, I grew up in the 60’s. Being angry as a child was one thing I was never allowed to be, and, without going into great detail, growing up in a dysfunctional home gave me lots to be angry about. This is a recipe for stuck historical anger, even rage. While there was much to be grateful and happy about, too, it’s the anger stuff that gets stuck.
Most likely, you are much like me, maybe off by a decade or two, perhaps in the severity of dysfunction in our homes. This doesn’t really matter in the scheme of what I am going to share here because what I’m speaking to is the human condition at this point in time and how we move more clearly and deftly through this transition we face into a kinder, more connected, highly creative and joyful species that knows and lives a depth of connection with each other and with our beautiful Earth.
To make it through childhood, we learn how to keep our anger down, much like we learn to keep our grief and sadness down, as well as our joy and exuberance. We learn how to exist in a world that wants children to be well-behaved and polite. These are good things to know as a human being — how to modulate your emotions when necessary, how to navigate society in general with civility, and how to be a good person.
However, what happens is our life force — the source of our vital creative expression — gets stuck deep inside of us. Your historical stuck anger is a sign that something was wrong at the time you felt it. We don’t just feel angry for the sake of being angry. We feel anger naturally when we experience an injustice. We feel it when someone insists we stuff our feelings, our thoughts, our voice — basically the response we are having to what is happening in our world. We learn the response we are having is a ‘bad’ response to have. We stuff it down and then ‘learn’ a more favorable response that will smooth the waters around us, keeping the people ‘in charge’ happy — basically trying to control things we cannot control — people and situations — basically the world around us. As this happens more and more, we stuff more down and our false sense of being able to control what is happening grows larger. And we get better and better at controlling others by changing our response from what we are truly feeling to what we think we should feel in order to keep things in control. We lose touch with the true feelings within us, like anger and rage, grief and sadness, joy and exuberance. We still have them. They still come up. How could they not? We have them for a reason. We have them because we are human beings existing in a human world where people feel things.
But, when we are trying to control — ourselves and others — we don’t necessarily really feel them anymore and we certainly don’t let full range of them out. We might be okay crying but never getting angry. Or we might show our anger but never our tears. Or we might be stone cold silent.
Through my training as a coach who does deep transformational coaching, as an educator who has learned well how to facilitate others through the process of coming to trust in uncertainty and the mysterious nature of deep creativity, and as a woman who has ‘done the work’ to heal, I have come to be in touch with both this stuck historical anger as well as a deeper trust in the transformational process for myself, which of course informs my capacity to be with others. I know in my bones that when we allow what is true to surface, we liberate our life force, and if we stay as conscious as we can through the process, we are liberated into a more full sense of who we truly are.
Back to my own anger and rage.
I’ll break down for you how it’s been for me. I believe that one of the most powerful gifts we can give each other is sharing the truth of our personal experience and what we learn from being present to our own experience.
Recently, I’ve finally been able to access some deeply buried historical anger and rage. Deeply buried. Old, old stuff. I had to go to some really difficult places, to feel some really difficult things. I didn’t get angry at anyone present time in the process because this was historical anger, but I did need to have a witness who lovingly held me as I shared what I was feeling and what I’d come to see.
I was able to finally feel what I hadn’t wanted to feel.
Here is what I discovered…
- As I felt those old feelings, I felt the power of feeling itself course through my body. At first, the power was intense, but then it was immensely freeing. Stuck, repressed historical anger is a power that has been contained in the body, sometimes, as in my case, for decades. It is liberated from within once felt without judgment and with great love and awareness. It takes a lot of life force to contain historical anger and rage. Once you feel it all the way through, the internal power that has been used to keep it down is freed up, too. Suddenly, your body is coursing with power from within, the power of life as it is meant to flow.
- This power is your life force waiting to be used in service to your soul’s expression. When your power is repressed, you cannot express what you are here to express with the full force of the soul. You are a powerful being. This isn’t power in the sense we hear of so often. When I speak of this power, it is the energetic force within you. Your life force IS a force, a physical, energetic felt experience of being alive. Your life force is a push out of your own being, your own existence. It is vital to your health. It is vital to your creativity. It is vital to your happiness.
- This is the internal power necessary to move you in the world, to share your purpose and expression in the world. You need this power.
- When this power flows freely, you breathe through your whole body. You breathe all the way down into your belly and pelvis. Your lungs fill.
- Stuck anger and rage cause you to silence your voice and HOW you are willing to share in the world. Freed, a deeper gravitas, a kind of bone and rock and earth that marries beauty with the ground, begins to show up in your work. This deeper ground and gravitas comes out of the deep belly and hips, out of the ground of your being.
- Freed power shifts how you see yourself in the world. When your power is dormant, the psyche can believe it is powerless to effect change because the original experience of powerlessness is imprinted in the psyche. We are meant to be expressive beings, to express ourselves as the creative beings we’ve been created to be. It messes with our self-confidence and our sense of agency.
- When power is freed and we begin to breathe into the pelvis, we wake up our desire. This has been such a wonderful thing to experience more clearly and fully. As someone not in touch with the depth of my anger, it has been hard to know what I’ve wanted, hard to know the deepest desires of my soul. Knowing these deep desires is vital to feeling, sensing, and knowing the guidance we are listening for as women and men who truly long to live what life is asking of us. This desire is eros, it is our erotic nature. It is powerful. It is the essence of our ability to feel deeply. And, it is love.
The universe is love and love is powerful, it is alive, it is vital, it is creative, and it is deeply erotic. Love is constantly rebirthing itself through desire, the desire to know itself as itself in many different forms. YOU are love expressing itself through you as you.
While there are more things I’m noticing, these are the key ones. And, while I knew all of this before on some level and know how all of this is connected, the liberation has been quite tremendous and beautiful.
Each day, I consciously re-engage the sensation of power course through my body. I open to it. I consciously ask it to inform me, to move me, to be the source of my expression. I ask it to show me how to truly love, to be love, to know love.
This force of love isn’t weak, yet it is fierce, tender, open, engaged. I feel confident when I am moving as it. I feel dignified and honored. I don’t need anyone to offer me these, but I am finding that more and more it is what is being reflected back to me in those who know it in themselves and sense it in me.
To have a different relationship with anger is empowering. Just like grief, anger is necessary in this world, otherwise, we wouldn’t have been given it as a human experience. Unaddressed anger is a sign to us that we aren’t dealing with something inside of us that needs to be owned, addressed, and healed. But the present-moment experience of anger alerts us to something being wrong and unjust, alerts us that a boundary has been crossed, and alerts us to being treated with a lack of dignity and respect. And it can be a direct mirror of where we are not treating ourselves with respect, dignity, and healthy boundaries.
As we grow more aware of how we are with our anger, we have the opportunity to learn how to acknowledge, feel, and respond from a place of love rather than raw, unconscious anger. It is truly a transformational journey to do this. I know few people who are well able to do this, but I know many of us who are learning to. And isn’t this why we are here? To learn to be human as fully and honestly as we can? To learn to express ourselves as authentically, vitally, and creatively as we can? To learn to be whole?
Often we think we will have to get angry at someone in order to feel what is buried inside, but what I’ve found is that until we truly feel it, it’s leaking out all the time anyway. We are getting angry in small (sometimes big) ways all the time, sometimes not seeing it ourselves because we are trying hard not to acknowledge what is buried.
Your stuck anger, even rage, will be liberated into your internal essential power once you feel them without judgment and with great love and awareness. Remember, it takes a lot of life force to contain historical anger and rage. That’s life force that is waiting for you to be a vital, creative, expressive force in the world, a force that is born from desire, from eros, from heart and soul.
Feeling our anger isn’t the only thing that frees us up this way, but it is a vital one.
As a coach, I hold the space for the process of this transformation so that the beauty of your essential creative life force can finally express as it is meant to. THIS is when we find our joy, our aliveness, our vitality. THIS is when our soul can finally be free to experience what it longs to experience.
It is time for us as women to live our power and to express our full selves into this world.
If you want to explore this more, join me for FLOURISH - my 9-week course on realizing a groundedness of being, experiencing a deeper connection to life, and liberating our essential power. It's for all women and offers tools and practices that you can then share with your clients and people you work with.