I reached a point in my journey where I could take no more. I was at my limit with all of the things I had allowed (or not as the case sometimes has been) in my life from the way I was treated by myself or others to the way that I wasn't free or empowered. I was angry at others and I was angry at myself. I felt Kali within me. I needed change. I let the anger move me into action.
I was angry that my life had been written for me. I was angry that I was struggling to be free and loving within myself and strong and free of the games of others. I was angry that I felt that I had tried really hard to move towards my freedom but still wasn't there. I was angry that people had treated me the way they had and that some of it was seemingly my fault. I went through some cycles of blame and rage...until I reached layers of sadness underneath. I needed to process it.
And I also, most importantly, needed to take action steps to change my life. I needed to become more self-aware and get to the issues at the root. I needed to cut away from connections that were manipulating or draining or feeding off of me. I needed to get really alone for a bit to facilitate my alchemical transformation from within. I needed to process past anger. I needed to create the space for the new. I needed to dream in the new. I needed to take action in the direction of the new.
A difficult point in anger is that we often do allow the behaviour we receive in life and that is why we receive it. But that isn't always the case and when it is it does not mean that those people that treated us in that way are not responsible for their actions. It just means that we can focus our energy on forgiving (but perhaps not forgetting) their actions and then working on ensuring that we do not allow the same sh*t again and we work to change the root causes of their actions in promoting the opposite in our world.
I have found my own anger to be alchemising in making me act on what it is that I am angry about. It can be more powerful in motivating us than sadness. But often sadness and unmet needs are right beneath it.
Our anger is a call to action from within. And sometimes we need to be ruthless in our kindness in order to take the right action that is needed.
There is a reason why we feel it - which I have found is usually connected to our boundaries, our worth and our freedom and not feeling like we are being given, being respected, behaving or thriving in the way that we truly desire, ultimately can or really deserve. It can be masked in seemingly being about others or it might actually be about others and their relationship with us. It is our responsibility and opportunity to find it's great gift and innate treasure; through the mediation of awareness in getting to the root of it.
I have found that a delicate balance needs to be struck between feeling it fully and honouring it and letting it perpetuate endlessly and potentially destructively. It could never end if we just keep adding fuel to the fire. We do need to feel it; often alone and through sound, movement and breath. Pillows can help. Going into nature where we can rage can help. Saying everything we honestly feel, raw and uncensored, definitely helps - however dark that might come to light. Better out than in. Written, spoken or even through shaking or dance is useful. Breathing through all of this is necessary. And sometimes we need it to be heard externally - but I have found that it always helps to deal with it initially on our own, if we can.
Here are the ways in which I try to do this:
1) Let it out uncensored: No holds barred raging, shouting, writing a f*ck you letter, crying mixed in, hitting pillows, screaming in pillows or throwing pillows, or whatever else works for you.
2) Discern what I need to own: Trying to see where the anger is directed at the self for not holding up a self-boundary or action and where it is actually at someone else who has crossed our boundaries or perhaps disrespected or underestimated us somehow. Rewriting the f*ck you letter but changing 'you' to 'me' can help with this. We need to see where we are projecting and where our anger is really about the other person.
3) Decide how I need to act: What one action step can you take to change this?
Do we need to non-violently raise the issue with someone? Non Violent Communication (NVC) is an amazing tool for communicating with integrity. There are books on it and training on it. It is everything. If this is about ourselves what one, two or three action steps can we take to change this?
This is where we need to be ruthlessly kind. If someone keeps taking the p*ss - especially if that is ourselves - we need to be firm but fair. It helps no-one to swallow our anger, not uphold our boundaries for short-term acceptance and then bite back later when we reach our limit further down the line. As much as we want to be kind, that often means ensuring that our own needs are met rather than martyring ourselves out. It's like putting on the oxygen mask first on a plane for an adult to the child. The adult needs to ensure that they are resourced to help the infant or both might be in jeopardy.
What can we do, on a personal, local or national level to fight for the causes that we believe in? How do we currently vote on a day to day basis, with our actions? Our food choices? Our shopping habits? Everything else?
True kindness sometimes acts gentle and sometimes acts fierce. It doesn't mess around. It isn't afraid to call things out. It isn't violent, but it doesn't back down. It stays centred within and moves powerfully from this place.
It doesn't hate and seek revenge through more harm. It fiercely protects without contracting. It focuses all power on rising up the light and defeating the dark, with love, that needs to start within the self or it cannot be shared truly.
Sometimes the action needed in response to our anger is to walk away from someone. Sometimes it is to not completely walk away but disinvest, rather than confront or call out. Sometimes it is to take a stand. We choose our battles.
Gentleness is power. Love is the greatest force.
We can take a fiercely loving stand for things, nature and people that matter to us in this world, if we honour our anger and use it to fuel our action steps in the directions of our dreams and in creating the world that we actually want to live in.
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