On Anger 

Let’s talk about anger. Not the legit get thee to therapy long term festering kind, though let’s stick a pin in that and circle back to it at some point. Right now I’m talking abut that holy crap what happened to my fuse and all that om-ing and meditation and prayer work and my day was just fine just a minute ago kind of anger. The kind that turns you from something akin to a blissed out Disney character to a raging horror film in 2.3 seconds. In my experience, it’s usually right around the time I’m on my way somewhere, perfectly on time listening to something I love and all is well until I round the bend and BOOM construction traffic allowing only one lane at a time resulting in a huge delay and I’m off the rails. Or when I’ve planned some lovely relaxation/restoration time kind of thing after a long day or week and at the moment I start BOOM the neighbors start hammering next door or fire up a leaf blower (don’t get me started on leaf blowers) or something and I’m off the rails. The scenarios go on and on but the common thread is this: fine one minute, raging and off the rails the next. Are you familiar with this experience? What is that about?!

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I was talking with my best friend recently who was working to get back on track after one such potentially day ruining moment. Here’s the aha I had. The anger that arises in such moments, that utterly takes me over is like a three year old in a store who is fine one minute and absolutely losing their mind the next. I think that’s where the opportunity lives. Just like a parent has to talk the child off the ledge and back to contentment for everyone’s sake, I’m called to do the same with the child in my head who is flipping out. I get to take a deep breath and internally say, “Okay, okay. I’m right here. Use your wards. What’s going on? What just happened? What do you need?” 

I’ve long found it fascinating that the parts of me - the experience of me - that I feel most passionate about, that I feel strongest about is under the impression that it is both strong and fragile. This is false, of course, but that’s how it feels. Think about any time you’ve shared something you frame as hugely important or meaningful to you in some way by telling the friend with whom you are sharing that you don’t say this to many people. Why not? If it is something you feel that deeply about, why not shout it from the rooftops? Because we’re afraid it’s breakable. I know, life is rich with paradox. That’s important to get used to.

Back to the child melting down in your head (or mine). In the moment before the meltdown, somewhere there was a sense of feeling in the flow, on track, in the sweet spot in however minor or major a way. It’s this wonderful spot of feeling one’s strength but also a potential newness that feels fragile somehow - however unconsciously. 

So, again, I get to take a breath and internally say, “Okay, okay. I’m right here. Use your wards. What’s going on? What just happened? What do you need?” Because in that moment I think what’s happening is that my inner voice - my inner child if you like - is telling me two hugely valuable things: 1) something it desires deeply, and 2) something it feels threatens the realization of that need. This is amazing information. Using that information I can find my way back into my power. Using, or rather honoring, that information I’m able to identify and claim something that 1) fills me up in some way that I can now begin (joyfully) cultivating and prioritizing for more of starting now and, 2) blindspots that may pop up again and that seem to remove me from that desired thing so that I can strategize ways to overcome them when they do arise - because, of course, they will arise again. 

Some of that may seem easier said than done in the moment, I’ll grant you. I have some tips on that too but in the interest of trimming these down a bit you’ll find those in the next post: “Curiouser and Curiouser.” In the meantime, as you’re out there “humaning” and your day goes suddenly from “bless you” to an f…well…you know, take heart kind soul, breathe deep, and invite that angry kid inside to use her words. It’ll be good for everyone. 

Be good to you.

Brian

Brian Perry