heart flow. love flow. spirit flow.
I was going to start this off by saying, the past month or so, a theme in my personal healing has been anger. But, when I really think about it, it’s been a life theme. It’s been one of the most difficult emotions for me to deal with, whether it be an external or internal relation. Anger, and any of its emotional relatives, is a serious plague on the human spirit, world-wide. And the thing with confronting anger, chances are it just frustrates you more. I’ve found that looking at it has the potential to perpetuate it, making the spiral into it, deeper and darker. Lately for me, it has come up a lot, in my self, and in others surrounding me. I’m finding myself relating strongly to the different situations, and it’s brought up a lot from my past.
My lessons are not just for me, but for those who will listen, or read. I’m here to share what I’ve got. So, I’ve decided to talk about anger, and how its played a role in my life.
Most of my younger childhood had the background noise, or maybe not so background, of arguing parents. First time through, a couple years after my adoption, they divorced. But the arguing didn’t stop, between them, or with my mother’s new partner. As I got older, and had my own opinions, I became involved in all the arguing. Most of my “conversations” with my mother, and my stepfather turned into arguments. Our main form of communication was arguing with all our anger and frustration. With my mother, it’s just what we did. It’s how we communicated our opinions to each other, and it was the space I had freedom to explore my self in my life. Her unconditional love made it a healthy, liberating experience. With my stepfather, sadly, I felt he was a threat. He was quite emotionally abusive, and I tried to ignore it all to avoid it, but all my frustration, anger, and pain festered on the inside, and it would then erupt from time to time in anger. With my father, it was a similar thing. I knew what it was like when he expressed anger, and it was terrifying. He really couldn’t express any other emotions except anger, discontent, and then happiness when he would laugh. So, I learned to keep my mouth shut, and act like everything was okay all the time, in order to avoid meeting his anger face to face. Similarly with him, I suppressed many of my emotions to avoid any confrontation where all of those emotions then turned into my very own anger. I don’t know if there’s a need to dive into those relationships in depth to get to the point of what I’m saying. I just want to portray anger and how it was situated in my life: essentially, in the middle of all of it. It shrouded most of my emotional experiences. Everybody wanted their voice to be heard, and if somebody didn’t agree, the ego would be deeply offended, and anger was the “solution”. The depth of it’s affect on me is so deep, I don’t really know how to express it simply. But, I can talk about the way anger has manifested in my self and actions.
Anger shut my spirit down.
When anger/yelling was present in my environment, I did my best to avoid it. At my mom’s, I would seclude myself in my room, on the computer, at my friends house where I might spend several night over in a row, sneak out, or just act like I didn’t care when somebody was communication through yelling. Yes, sometimes, I caused the anger. I was a defiant lazy adolescent. A general feeling of that age was feeling misunderstood. Usually, I would utter the words “I don’t know” whenever they asked why I would do the things I would. It was easier to avoid anger, fighting, confrontation then taking the chance of explaining myself. At my dad’s, since I only saw him every other weekend at the most, I felt the responsibility to constantly make an effort to be around the family. Often times, at that age, I just did not want to be there. I wanted to be with my friends at home, doing whatever we did. But, I also didn’t want to get yelled at by him and my stepmother, so I ignored my feelings, and just pretended to try and enjoy myself. Often times, I’d be called out for this, and it was easier to pretend like I didn’t know what they were talking about to avoid really saying how much I disliked being there, for the plethora of reasons it was. My mom and dad would also talk about how I was misbehaving in those crazy years (because I was), and so my dad’s house was the establishment that all my actions were questioned, where I was disciplined, but only through words. They just did not understand what I was doing, and honestly, it was because I didn’t understand what I was doing. Now, after much growing, thinking, healing, what I was doing was figuring out an “easy” way to cope with all of my anger, and all of the manifestations of everybody’s anger.
I was so in it, I couldn’t see it.
In my young adulthood, my friends confronted me a lot about being calloused, somewhat apathetic, and not being able to communicate clearly. I still acted rather impulsively, usually, sexually. Even in relationships, (especially since I didn’t really have any clear examples about what a good one was) when I was confronted with discontent feelings, I didn’t feel comfortable expressing them, and my outlet was seeking other people; it satiated my desire to be needed/wanted, and allowed me to run away with what I was not happy with. Now, I’m not saying that everybody copes with their stuff this way, this is just part of my story. Anger had affected my life through and through- my physical, emotional and spiritual relations with others, and myself. I was this impenetrable being. Walls made of brick around my spirit. I could switch off my emotions, so I didn’t have to deal with them. I had taught my self how to avoid anything that might result in anger, or anything related to it; I was tired of dealing with this ever-present, and woefully intense emotion. I can’t totally speak for some of my closest friends in college, but, boy, all of these habits irked them. But then, there were those moments where I had to release my emotions… or else. Because those walls were built around anger, anger was the only thing that knew the way out when I had to express my emotions. And bless the souls that I “spoke” to in those moments. I said awful things. Sometimes, it made no sense because I was so outraged, I could barely communicate. My body would be overcome by the frustration. It would freeze me over.
But, finally, in the past year or so, I’ve really been looking at this anger, and all that is related to it in my life. It definitely hasn’t been the easiest thing. It’s meant the willingness to lose part of my ego. To me, anger is a serious victimization of ourselves: the allowing of something that hurts our ego to own it. I used to think that all anger was totally legitimate; of course, I still get angry about things. But, the anger that I couldn’t cope with, that which became self destructive—let me take this moment to define anger as an intense, aggressive energy that manifests when we believe life to treat us “unfairly”—that anger was not okay. It allowed me to feel like I had the right to say things to people that were hurtful, because I felt they hadn’t treated me fairly. It allowed me to hold resentments, which puts unnecessary weight on the recipient. Anger also enabled my habit of pretending like I didn’t care, lacking expression of love towards my closest friends and family. This type of anger only perpetuated itself. It never solved anything in my life, ever.
Today, when I get angry, I see my ego. I’m grateful that anger shows me where there is something that needs to be checked. But thats about as much attention I am willing to extend towards my anger. Sometimes it’s as small as getting cut off by a car on the road. The thought usually comes to, “Hey what the f*** do you think you are doing?” First, I remember that, I, too, can be in a rush, and will cut off people. Then I remember that sometimes the “angry” person is honking their horn at me when I’ve been unaware as I made a rude road gesture, or careless…there are plenty of things. That person isn’t angry at all, but afraid for their life. It doesn’t matter what that person did to me. It wasn’t intentionally malicious. And if it was? Who am I to think I am better than them? It is not my place to make that decision. I have made a conscious life choice to be a hand of creator, and that means I Love. That’s my job. To love. Anything else is not my decision, and this means I get humbled. No, it’s not always flowers, singing birds, and blue skies, but that’s life. And when it’s larger situations, where I truly am hurt personally by a person, I forgive. I accept my anger, I own my anger, I recognize it, but I forgive. This cuts a negative energy bond with that person, freeing myself from that karma, opening my heart to feel positive things, and also giving the other person the opportunity to be free from theirs. Releasing what is not necessary.
I had a profound experience in my life that taught me that lesson. Last summer, there had been some situations where my father and stepmother really displeased me. But carefully examining these situations made me realize that it had been most situations in the time they had been in my life as a unit. I also came to realize that I felt my father had been emotionally absent in my life, and that my stepmother was also very manipulative of certain situations. I don’t say these things with any intention of trying to make you feel the same way. They don’t need that, and neither do I. I see them in light of love, and hope that you will to. But it’s a part of this story I wish to tell. Anyways, I was angry and I told them my feelings about all of the things, expecting a familial-type response, but I didn’t get any response. I expected. I waited. About 5 months after on New Year’s Eve, (yes, I know, much too long of a time) I reached out to my sister, and her response was anger. Raw anger. It was humbling because my karma was to accept it, listen, and not argue. It was incredibly humbling, and heart opening. It was also hard to see that the anger was so intense, that any thing I said was not being heard. Maybe even repeated, but still not heard. It was at this moment when I saw what anger was. A month later, I decided that the only thing I could do was call my dad and stepmother, with forgiveness as my offering, forgiving them. My father answered, and told me that I was no longer his daughter, and that he was too busy to talk. He said he’d call me back, but I’m not so sure about how that will play out in reality. Knowing anger well, I knew that being angry at him, or at the situation, was not an option. I called to humble my self, my ego. If I was to become angry, then my intentions weren’t pure. So I couldn’t be angry. And decided to release it all through love. I sent love to my father, understanding his reaction was that of past emotional pain, and that there was nothing productive about sending him anything but love. And when I did this, I saw what forgiveness was. And as I did that, I saw what it did for him. It gave him a space full of love, a space to heal. I saw what acting selflessly did for my life. I had never felt such lightness, such liberation, such freedom for my spirit in my life. The things that happen when you decide to not act in anger, but in love…
It’s difficult to sum all of this up. But, I think it’s because so much in my life was affected by Anger. There’s definitely more than one negative emotion that really hinders our growth as society—by no means because this is only about anger am I saying that anger is most important or something. I’ve just found it to be a theme that keeps recurring recently, and has been present throughout my life.
I read a definition of ego yesterday, “the self that clings to itself”. I don’t really expect to perfect my ego in this lifetime. But I do desire to become a better person, a better community member, a better leader, a better link in this race called humanity. It’s not always easy to look at things, it causes pain. And it involves the humbling of our ego. It sucks. But when you start to experience the healing for what it is, it becomes a heart-opening experience. All of a sudden your body becomes elated, light, because of shedding the weight of your ego. It’s easier done when we are the aggressors. Sometimes, when we feel we are victim, there’s nothing more difficult. But, honestly, all that all of this is is being a victim of ourselves. We can change everything into Love in just one decision. So maybe next time you see anger coming up, remember that it only exists because of your ego. See it as a spiritual check point. Step into it with an open heart, and see what it can do for your life. It might not make any sense, but that’s where the magic begins.
this is the song that’s been lifting my spirit…
namaste my lovers.