I always think of anger as the emotion most closely associated with activism.
It’s the activist emotion.
Learning to work with your anger is you learning to harness your inner activist.
This is how I view anger: you getting in touch with your anger is you learning how to become an activist for yourself.
There is a fierce warrior within you and it’s connected to healthy anger. This allows you to become the activist to protect your inner world against wrongdoing or injustice.
We are often told anger is bad or unattractive or a super negative emotion to experience.
We should mitigate our anger or we should try to not feel angry at all costs.
But our anger is ESSENTIAL.
Without our anger, we’re not actually protected. Anger helps us distinguish right from wrongs. It helps us fight injustice. Without our anger, we’re BOUNDARYLESS.
Ripe for the picking. Able to be taken advantage of.
Anger is the emotion most closely associated with our boundaries.
Learning to connect with our anger is paramount in the process of learning how to know where our boundaries are.
When that PING goes off in the body, that is your body responding that there needs to be an act of honour or protection that must take place.
Anger is how we learn to HONOUR ourselves.
It’s the emotion that allows us to become an activist for ourselves, our inner worlds and our experiences in the world.
Every time we embrace our anger in a healthy way, we’re reclaiming and liberating ourselves. We’re honouring ourselves.
This breeds so much innate internal safety. We’re telling ourselves, we will protect our experiences in the world and protect against wrongdoing.
It’s how we truly create agency and authority over our worlds.
We stand up to those who try to invalidate us or destabilize us with manipulative tactics.
An unhealthy relationship with anger either looks like repression of anger or an over-indulgence in our anger.
An overindulgence in our anger….THE NEED FOR INSTANT-GRATIFICATION.
What this means…our anger is too uncomfortable for us to hold in the body so it must be removed immediately.
The way we respond through this INSTANT-GRATIFICATION is needing to remedy the discomfort of the emotion through an immediate action.
Tailing that guy who cut us off to seek retaliation.
Sending that text message immediately through a bout of anger and being passive aggressive in your response.
Unhealthy anger is also expressed through passive aggression – silent treatment, withdrawal, sarcasm and hurtful comments with the very direct intent to get a rise out of you.
This is an attempt to assume immediate control over a chaotic, boiling inner world that we can’t contain.
Some families…while deeply connected to anger, are not connected to their anger in a healthy way. Their connection to anger becomes the acting through the instant-gratification (over-indulgence) in their anger.
Often when we learn anger isn’t safe to express in our family systems, anger can morph into fear, grief or sadness.
As children, we will learn which emotions are safer to express over others.
If we learn other emotions are more accepted to experience such as sadness or fear, we can be more deeply connected to those other emotions, while anger gets pushed deep, deep down into the bowels of our being.
Our anger can then become a great source of fear…that’s because our repression of our anger became how we survived the family system.
In other words, we become complicit in our co-dependent binds through the repression of our anger.
This adaptation was SO NECESSARY to survive the family system.
It’s how we ensured we got our needs met…absolutely vital adaption we made as kids.
This is why connecting to this piece can be very scary, as it can feel like we’re in this life or death scenario where we’re going to breach that safety we relied upon.
Either, we stayed quiet with our anger to not set our parents off and so we could be protected in that way.
Also, we could disconnect from our anger in a way to protect our primary caregivers.
If we had parents with an intrusive parenting style, the disconnection to our boundaries is really evident in our disconnection to our anger.
We continue to protect our parents by not allowing ourselves to contact the anger we experienced repeatedly through the boundary violation.
If we connected and honoured our anger, it might bring up uncomfortable emotions for the parent or parents we’re trying to protect.
As if, our anger, will be the source of our isolation and abandonment.
As if, our anger, will be the source that blocks the flow of allowing our needs to be met in a capacity we’ve grown accustomed to.
Anger becomes a path to fear.
Anger becomes a path we feel will disconnect us from our sense of belonging.
If we’re highly compassionate, empathetic and sensitive people, then our ability to feel deeply might diminish our own anger and self-protection.
Without a connection to our anger, our empathy and compassion can actually become a burden for us.
Cause anger is so essential in learning to honour and protect ourselves. It helps us distinguish rights from wrongs. It helps us to stand up for ourselves and our inner worlds.
There is great reclamation in honing our anger.
It’s difficult work. Massively difficult work. It requires us to do a lot of nervous system work to expand our tolerance to sit in the fire without acting punitively and maliciously retaliating through the fire.
Allow the fire to restore honour, but through the lens of compassionate firmness.
Every time we allow ourselves to sit in our anger and use it to honour us, we’re liberating and unleashing that inner activist a little more every time.
There is great expansion and liberation in this. Regardless of where healthy expression of our anger brings us, it always connects us to ourselves and allows us to trust ourselves a little more each time.
If you’re trying to build your relationship to your anger, I commend you, this is brave and important work, and try to think of this experience as this beautiful reclamation of that inner activist that is being strengthened to defend your honour.
This is a post written by Jamie Rea.
Jamie is a Relationship and Life Coach.
Jamie is fantastic at bringing humor and lightness to the growth experience.
I will be recording the IG LIVE and uploading the audio here for you to listen to in the future.
Thank you for your constant support in my mission to spread holistic healing education, tools, and skill across the world!
All the love,