Dancing in the Storm of Anger
There is no contract between me and life that says:
“If you do everything the “right” way, life will go your way. If it doesn’t go your way, you will be entitled to a settlement which requires life to compensate for it.”
Life. Isn’t. Fair.
Life carries challenges.
Life gives us hard stuff and easy stuff.
I can do everything “right” and the shit can still hit the fan.
As a mother, I am equipping my children to handle all of life’s ups and downs by allowing them to experience the reality of life, with all the good, bad and the ugly. I will do my best to protect them from pain that I can keep away and teach them to keep away from, but I cannot keep all pain away. Life has pain, it also has pleasure though.
Shielding my children from all pain is shielding my children from learning important life-lessons. My best bet is to help them build a tolerance level for pain through teaching and modeling to them how to cope with it. I can provide modeling to my children with how I myself feel pain through grieving, and trusting my body and my God to guide the process in ways that don’t involve harming myself and/or others as part of this process.
Just like me, my children GET to feel angry at whomever or whatever they feel angry at. But just like me, they don’t GET to express their anger beyond the limits of honoring their own dignity and the dignity of others, at least not without expecting it to be intervened upon through corrective action by me or others.
I want to teach, model and affirm these core-beliefs surrounding anger to serve as a guide in their relationship with anger:
You can learn through practice, to dance with your anger without being struck or stuck by its powerful presence.
- You CAN feel angry while NOT harming the person you feel angry towards.
- Anger doesn’t travel solo, there are hidden emotions underneath it, search for them with God’s help.
- If you think that expressing the emotion of anger only helps you be in control, you will be held hostage by anger.
- Being angry doesn’t mean being mean.
- Anger comes in all different shapes and sizes. Notice when it keeps you from being fully available in your closest relationships, because the more it’s disguised, the more it goes unchecked. The more it goes unchecked, the more the distance will be between you and your loved-one. Be self-aware or risk being self-deceived.
- Anger is a normal human emotion. It is more harmful to resist feeling it, then to allow yourself to feel it.
- You are not responsible for controlling other people’s anger for them. Whenever you either volunteer or accept that role, expect disappointment and resentment.
- Do not hold other people responsible for controlling your anger for you, when you do, expect disappointment and resentment.
- Expressing big and intense emotions of anger does not mean someone needs to be harmed by them.
- Others may feel uncomfortable in their own skin while you’re appropriately discharging anger (without harming yourself or others as part of the process), and that is OK.
- How other people feel in their own skin while you appropriately express your anger has nothing to do with you, but them.
- Appropriately expressing anger that does not harm self or others is not culturally “normal”, it is hazardous only to the ego or false-self.
- Whenever possible, express it with those whom you trust and feel emotionally safe with.
- If you do not feel this is possible with any of the people you are in relationship with, re-evaluate the health of your relationships..healthy relationships can contain anger without being extinguished by it.
Living well involves learning to dance in the storm of anger. You CAN dance with it and learn to not be overcome or imprisoned by it. Practice makes progress, and practicing this will serve you well in life.