I lost my shit on Friday.
No seriously. I blew my stack. Flipped my lid. Steam came out of my ears, along with a great deal of cursing.
To be honest, I’ve been angry for a while. Angry about a host of things. Some simmering. Some blazing at the topmost layer of my skin. Some long overdue. And some lying a dormant, like very dry kindling waiting for the flame to ignite them.
A week ago, I’d sat with an amazing intuitive counselor and talked about how angry I am and what to do with it. We agreed that I didn’t have any skills for anger and that my default belief was that anger was “bad” and being calm was “good.” Christianity taught me that. My parents taught me that. School taught me that. Being a woman taught me that.
We also agreed that when you, like I have, give up the vices you’ve used to deal with unpracticed emotions…overeating, too much alcohol, spending money, or working a ton of hours…you have to find ways to deal with the emotion. You know…maybe even FEEL it.
Little did I know that I would have my fuse lit Friday by a personal affront to my very ethics and values.
Little did everyone else in my vicinity know that I would apparently fully embrace anger as an emotion and express it…loudly…with a lot of fucks.
On this side of that explosion, I can say without hesitation…TEACH YOUR CHILDREN HOW TO DEAL WITH, FEEL, EXPERIENCE, & EXPRESS ANGER!
Did all that shouting seem aggressive?
We tell children that they need to be nice, calm, and that everyone being happy is the goal. But let’s face it, that’s not life. We need to be able to handle and share frustration, dissatisfaction, disappointment, and ANGER.
People will say “There is a time and place…” but what if we never give a child, a teen, a young person…hell a nearly 40 year old woman…an ACTUAL time and place? What if we don’t help them find that time and place by listening the FIRST time they express their anger? What if we shush them, silence them, tell them they are rude, and call them out of their name when they try to say “I’m angry!”
Anger is usually symptomatic of fear, hurt, & frustration. It may be a secondary emotion but most of us turn the primaries in on ourselves and act them out in depression, abuse of substances, acts of violence towards ourselves and others. And when that happens, suddenly anger is pretty damn primary.
If we don’t learn to listen and aid in finding a time and a place for others and their anger, the time and place will be any fucking time, any fucking place. And that is quite frankly unfortunate and on all of us for believing that the domestication of humans doesn’t include the wild emotion of anger.
There is power in anger. There is holiness in the creation of space for expressions of anger. There is real healing on the other side of anger. There is a stillness as the embers die out of the fires of anger, that each person needs to experience in some time or place.
Make a time and place…or a time and place will be made.