I was taught that anger, especially in women, was bad. I’d get pushed to the limit, usually by a sibling and lash out, only to receive the predictable punishment for loosing control of myself. Stuffing it down didn’t seem to help either—I have spent years seething with anger for not having stood up for myself, and allowing myself to be harmed. In time, I carried my anger around in my pocket like a grenade with a loose pin.
It wasn’t until mid life that I learned that anger is really a tool; its a safety warning, it screams “Danger Will Robinson!” And that’s actually a good thing. I learned to step back, observe and sort out what’s really going on. From there, I could take appropriate action. Before I felt powerless, a hapless victim—damned if I did, damned if I didn’t—because usually the first two reactions, advance or retreat didn’t really serve me very well.
I am thinking about anger this morning, because I’ve just been through a three or four week bout of it, and learned something new, this time around: anger has phases. The first thing I noticed was that rush of Adrenalin, fists raised sort of feeling, and I took action—I got help—I hired an attorney, which was the appropriate thing to do under the circumstances. Then came ranting, which seemed to fan the fires and be therapeutic at the same time. Weird. When I realized that things were actually getting taken care of, I was left with sort of a toxic feeling—not yet completely relived. In the past, that lingering feeling would lead to more rants, but this time, I decided to sit with it. I literally got a chair, sat down, closed my eyes and said, “bring it.” I watched as it began to subside, along with the rants and everything else. That’s how I got my peace back. How do you get your peace back? I love hearing your thoughts and seeing how we all help one another here at Sharing A Journey.