If there’s distance between you, there’s anger.
If you’re giving more than you’re getting…you’re angry.
There are two parts to this puzzle:
1. Whether or not you can touch your anger and how you feel when you do, and…
2. What you do with what you feel.
Let’s say you can’t figure out why you’re “blue.”
Ask yourself…Where am I angry?
You may be surprised at the question. You may say to yourself…I’m not angry, I’m sad.
Keep asking until you connect with your anger (I can guarantee you’re feeling it…just don’t try to ask yourself – ‘Why am I feeling it?’)…and then follow through with touching it, looking at it, embracing it, admiring its power, and owning it.
You can ask follow-up questions:
Who am I angry at?
What am I angry at?
How angry am I?
Once you’ve just got in touch with your anger…don’t hold it at arm’s length. Get close to it. Study it. Play with it. Put your arms around it. Put your heart around it. Say…Where have you been all my life?
Once you’re all touchy-feely with your rage, you’re going to notice some other feelings show up and try to muscle in on your new relationship.
You’ll notice guilt creep on over. And then fear.
That’s because anger is such a powerful feeling (let’s face it, in the grip of rage, we feel like we want to kill someone. To push him off a cliff or smash him in two. Own up to any such impulse.
Pretend you’re an actress and you have to find the power in your anger in order to get your much-deserved Academy Award for your “raw” and “authentic” presence in your own life…) — it’s SO powerful, we’re actually afraid we might DO something like that – kill him and wipe out half the planet doing it.
And you won’t. I know you won’t. You’re just too fabulous a woman to bother doing that.
So, now you have to accept, look at, embrace the guilt and the fear, too.
And, if you’re doing this right, you’ll also uncover grief. It may be so intense you blank out and go numb for a moment…so when you touch it, even for a split-second – give yourself a “high-five.”
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Okay…first of “Anger To Love” step accomplished.
Now…what are you going to DO with all that emotion?
Are you going to cut loose and wail at a man? Are you going to demand he change, now, or buddy, you’re out the door?
Are you going to go the “spiritual route” and play nice? Get all understanding and compassionate and neutral and try to have a reasonable discussion?
Or are you going to just stuff it down for another day and go about your business?
Here’s where the art of being you works so brilliantly…
1. If you’re by yourself and in your own home where you can feel all private and safe, that’s terrific.
You can jump up and down, you can punch the air with your face, you can lay down on the floor and start breathing into all that anger and grief and guilt and everything else you feel until you get so bored you want to turn on the TV and watch something stupid — or even better one a get out and take a nice walk in the neighborhood and look at and kiss some beautiful trees.
You can pet yourself and hug yourself and make yourself some tea and allow yourself to giggle over all this intensity you’re feeling or allow yourself to cry over everything you’re feeling, and shake a bit — and then you may feel like doing something like dance around the room…
2. But most likely you’re out in public. You’re sitting across from a man in a restaurant. You’re walking with him from the car. You’re stuck in the car with him. You’re in his house or your house and all of a sudden you feel the intensity of how deeply he is ignoring you, dismissing you, not interested in you, or just plain mean.
Well, you first have to do the first part of this which is to figure out a way, logistically, to feel what you’re feeling — especially your anger.
This usually means you have to get up and go to the ladies room. Or you have to turn around and walk back to the car or you have to stop talking and turn your face away from him while you’re walking. You have to sit at the table with your head in your hands blocking out everything and simply tuning in to what’s going on with you and asking yourself questions that you need to ask.
I prefer the bathroom, but I have learned to just sit there feeling my face turn red and my body want to fight or flee, with my face in my hand, in total silence, and process through these questions and my feelings amazingly quickly.
So I know that you can too.
3. Now, here comes the “action” part. What you DO if you’re out in public or he’s right in front of you in your kitchen.
I’m going to have to write a lot of posts about this because there are so many pieces to this, but let’s start here.
If the first part is about “processing” through your feelings, then the second part is how you express that to him.
And to make things simple here again to give you just two options:
1. You speak the truth in Feeling Messages — you say “I feel….”
If you haven’t finished processing through the truth, this might be I feel confused, or I feel uncomfortable, or something else that expresses how you feel in a way that makes you feel like you’ve really expressed yourself (without, of course, talking about him or making him wrong).
2. If you’ve done this more than a few times with a man, if you’ve had to express the same thing to him over and over (for instance, he’s asked you not to do something so that he can do it for you himself, only he hasn’t taken the time to do it and you’re finding yourself waiting… or he’s dismissed your feelings and you’ve told him many times how bad you feel when that happens) — then you WALK AWAY.
Simple… you just turn around and go in the other direction.
You go find the ladies room in a public place, or you go home in a taxi or your own car, or you take yourself to a bedroom and close the door. You can say This feels bad and I don’t want to feel this, and then walk away, or you can say I don’t want to do this right now and walk away or you can just say I want to go home and walk away, or you can even just turn and walk into the kitchen and not say anything.
What ever you do — you have to feel this:
You have to feel as though you have HONORED your anger.
This doesn’t mean you have to feel like you hurt him, or a person at work or another circumstance who has hurt you. It doesn’t mean you have to do damage. It doesn’t mean you have to have revenge. It doesn’t mean you have to have some kind of physical or emotional effect on him. It does not mean you have to have a result of any kind.
Honoring your anger feels like you are WHOLE
It feels like you are in one piece. You don’t feel shattered, you don’t feel disconnected from yourself, you don’t feel conflicted — you don’t feel like your anger and your guilt and your grief are all pulling on each other from different directions.
You feel all of a piece. You are you. Whole. Complete. Beautiful. Angry.
Don’t look for a result of the feelings going away. That’s not the point. Feelings are powerful things and they keep moving around all the time. They move through your body. The more they change, and the more you attend to them with the intention of honoring them and ALLOWING them to move anyway they choose, they will begin to morph into better feeling feelings.
And, as a bonus, when the anger gets felt and expressed — when YOU can do it FIRST — everything will open up in a relationship. Love comes back from behind the barricades set up by the effort, on both your parts, to make the anger “behave.”
I love your anger. I love all of you. I love all of me. Let’s rock.