This is something that has been coming up a lot in my clients lives and one that I think is not often addressed. I hope that this blog is helpful for you and I would love to see conversation created from it.
I am sure that if I asked you to think about a time that you last saw anger, you could quickly come up with a time in which anger took an ugly form. Honestly, our world is pretty angry right now, so that is one of the first things that comes to mind for me. However, these avenues in which we have seen anger are only the unhealthy and out of control ways of expressing anger. There are a lot more feelings where that comes from. Violent anger is not something that I encourage what so ever, and in fact, there are ways of expressing anger in ways that are not so unproductive.
Before I begin, let me preface this blog with the fact that I am not advocating what so ever for allowing your anger to get the best of you and therefore taking it out on someone. The focus of this blog is to encourage you to be willing to acknowledge your anger, rather than suppressing it.
What would it look like for you if you allowed yourself to be okay and comfortable with the idea of feeling angry? What thoughts or fears come up for you when you start to think about this idea?
Anger is often a feeling that is avoided and one that many people are scared of. Because of that, they act as if it isn't there, which does nothing but build resentment.
There are a variety of reasons that people are often scared to acknowledge and be okay with the fact that they are angry:
1. They feel as though they can get out of control when they are angry, and therefore they act as if that feeling is not there.
2. They have seen others angry and might have been the victim of an angry person.
3. Anger is an uncomfortable feeling and they would rather just stick with happiness.
4. They have not/do not have permission to feel angry.
Do you relate to any of these? Maybe you have a different reason, and that's okay. Or, maybe you don't relate to any of these and are not sure why you avoid anger, that is okay too. Anger is often addressed in a very negative light and is usually only focused on when it has come out in a violent way. But I wonder.... Has anger got to the point that it has, because we have suppressed it for so long? Often times, people don't even realize that they are avoiding it, but as time is passing, anger is building. We wait until we are spewing and cannot control ourselves because our feelings have become too overwhelming.
Can we start to give ourselves permission to acknowledge our anger and be okay with the fact that we are feeling that way? We can become super critical of our own feelings and often give ourselves permission to only feel some emotions and not others. We only allow ourselves to feel "positive" emotions and therefore the "negative" ones often get pushed down.
I want to encourage you and take a moment to give you permission to start acknowledging anger if it pops up within you. Anger is okay and it can be felt in a productive way! Anger does not always have to come out in a rampage. If we simply acknowledge anger and let it process through us, it will eventually fade, just as sadness does.
Life gives us many opportunities that cause anger and therefore this emotion cannot just be taken out of the equation. Maybe you have recently been diagnosed with cancer, lost a loved one, life has become overwhelming, you are going through a divorce, or are on the brink of losing everything. Life naturally brings about feelings of anger. NO MATTER what you are facing in life currently, you have permission to be angry. And if no one else has given you permission to allow yourself to feel that emotion, I am right now.
What does this process look like for you? Maybe it is taking baby steps and figuring it out slowly.
If you need support along this journey, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to support you.