Thursday, November 7, 2013

Anger - A Call to Action

What's the best use of my time? What do you bring to the table? Is this person saying "we" when they really mean "me"? As a recovering nice girl and people pleaser, these are questions that I have started asking recently. These questions have uncovered a lot of anger. Anger that threatens to consume and spill out, but also anger that prods me into saying No to what I don't want and helps me align with my values.   

As it sometimes happens when we most need it, I've just come across some writing that helps me understand this process better. In her book, Walking in This World, Julia Cameron says: "When we are angry at being overlooked, it is not arrogance and grandiosity. It is a signal that we have changed sizes and must now act larger." She goes on: "When we cannot sleep, when we are "eaten alive" by an inequity or slight, the monster that is eating us is our anger over our own displaced power. We are very powerful. That personal power is what we are feeling as a "towering rage," and that artificially externalized wall of rage can make us feel small and puny until we figure out that it is a power within ourselves and not the sheer wall of the "odds" stacked against us. The odds are against us until we are "for" ourselves."

And later: "Anger signals us that we are being called to step forward and speak out. We hate this and so we fantasize retreating instead. Rage at a bully or at a bullying situation is actually a wonderful sign. Once we own it, it is our rage at allowing ourselves and others to be bullied. If it is our own, we can use it. Yes, this rage feels murderous and distorting, but it is actually a needed corrective. If our rage is that large, so are we."

Our anger feels threatening because of the power it contains - exploding with it can cause damage, repressing or denying it mutates it into depression.The challenge becomes to channel our anger into actions that create change in our lives, so that it speaks up for who we are and who we want to become.

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