Giving Anger Space to Breathe
*Warning this post is raw, brutal honesty with a splash of anger*
This post is sparked by anger that I felt one day as I was talking to someone. For a moment, my brain went to feeling like should I be grateful for what I do have. The moment quickly passed and I knew, no. Sometimes life isn’t about doing gratitude, being positive or any of that stuff (I am usually a fan of). This part of me today, just wanted to express my anger. So I did and told the truth. I was angry.
There is zilch wrong with expressing our anger. In fact, it is healthy and so important. As long as we are expressing it appropriately and not like a violent volcano spewing anger out at people.
In my experience, in the wellbeing world, one can be inundated with the being positive vibe. Like it is a cure all. The impression given that if one is not giving out the energy or the thoughts, of the things one wants, then one is not likely to manifest or bring in what they desire. Sound complicated? Yes. We have all heard of that popular book. I won’t name it as I have no desire to be sued.
I have a theory. Stick with me please. I think it’s a good one.
As I was expressing my anger, I realised that I was fed up with constantly feeling like I had to turn my negative emotion into a positive one. This sort of thinking is bred into the wellbeing world. There is nothing wrong with this. I usually endorse changing one’s perspective. But not every day. We are multi-faceted beings who should be expressing ourselves in different ways. It is ok for us to feel different emotions from anger to hopeful to happy. I won’t go into the whys women are taught not to express their anger as I feel that is a longer, deeper conversation.
We don’t need to align with anything or change anything about ourselves to be worthy. We won’t be less if we express our anger. We don’t need to supress our emotions and feel like we have to turn our ‘bad’ emotions into positive ones.
I am totally done with buying into this line of thinking. I always feel like I’m doing something wrong. As if you could do this positive wellbeing stuff wrong. Maybe I am not practising gratitude enough or maybe I need to reframe my negativity? NO. Not today my friend, we don’t today.
Some days all that’s required is to tap into our hearts and ask ourselves, how do I feel today? Simply giving that emotion space to be. It’s not easy, it’s scary as hell. Especially if emotions like anger haven’t had a seat at the table before. Maybe it doesn’t feel safe to give anger a space at the table and some room to breathe? Perhaps that’s even more indication that it needs to be heard and needs a healthy way to be expressed. As I continue to go down this path, I will share what I have tried.
Today I let go of spinning my negative into a positive. I realised my negative was not a negative at all. It was my heart’s way of getting my attention. As if to say hey, are you listening? This is what’s really going on. I’m angry. Ok so I dig deep because I can, what am I angry about? In that digging lies the truth, if I am willing to see it and hold the truth up to the light to be seen. Therein lies our path to healing whatever is going on behind our anger.
The point of this post is to demonstrate we are multi-faceted and feel multiple things. We don’t have to pretend to be happy or positive or calm all the time. That is not all we are. Sometimes we are sad, angry and in pain. That’s ok. Sometimes I feel mad, crazy and tearful. Sometimes all at the same time. That’s ok. We are human. Our emotions aren’t good or bad. They simply are. So, let’s choose to give them space, in the healthiest way we can.
Side note: I haven’t always demonstrated my anger or emotions in the right way. Growing up my mum had this phrase which translated to, are you on fire? I will let you imagine why she said that to me. My anger as a child was a symptom of something else. My emotions not being allowed to breathe. There was no space to be heard. I think it was the same for most of us as what we know now about emotional intelligence, we didn’t know then. Certainly, parents have access to more knowledge now. So, this isn’t a bash your parents post. I promise Mum. People do the best they can with what they know, in the society they are surrounded in. My mum was a single parent of 4 children with a business she ran herself. She was a flawed superhero.
Now we are older, we can give ourselves that grace and find spaces where we feel safe to express ourselves. I hope in sharing my journey with you dear reader, you feel like you can do it too. All it takes is one step in the direction you want to go in, then another. Trust me if I can, you can. We can together.
How about we give all of our emotions a seat at the table and let them be heard? What would happen? Does that sound scary? It should because it is scary. For most of us, it’s doing something that is alien to us because we’ve never done it before. But hey, you know what? It’s also liberating. 2021 was the year I walked in the direction of what made me feel uncomfortable. It has led to my growth, to a release, to deeper healing. Ultimately, that is what I am here for. To heal my stuff, one step at a time.
I am happy to share tips of what I have tried. Make up your own mind as to what works for you and what doesn’t.
Tips to follow.
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