I appreciate all of your gorgeous responses from the first week of the Liberate Your Love: The Path to Setting Better Boundaries, Understanding Your Anger, and Discovering True Self Care series.
I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only one who uses my vices to numb myself! It also seems like the topic of craving destructive relationships is especially important in this community. Thank you all for sharing so honestly about a subject that can be quite taboo.
As I work to understand these challenging impulses in myself, I’m hungry for more context. Does anyone have any good resources they recommend to understand this impulse to be with someone who isn’t so good for us?
(My favorite is Esther Perel’s book “Mating in Captivity” which outlines why the idea of the exotic “other” is so sexy and why familiarity in our relationships can flatten our attraction Watch her extreeeemely educational TEDtalk here.)
With this new self-awareness guiding us, this week we will go further down the path in order to LIBERATE our love. Unfortunately I believe it’s almost impossible to move directly from numbed reality into a real experience of empowered living.
If we want to break free, then we need some explosive energy to fuel our journey ahead. We need to get ANGRY!
In it, I share deeply about my own experiences with anger and also tell you how to reclaim your passionate energies of anger, sexuality and ambition to break free from your numbed way of living.
But how do we do that when we’ve spent so much time repressing that energy, perhaps for good reason? Maybe you’ve hurt others with your anger, or been injured when they’ve gotten angry with you.
My dad had a bad temper. I was yelled at a lot when I was younger, and it hurt. I know why he yelled at me: his own childhood hurts that he never processed. But even knowing this, it still shapes who I am and how I deal with conflict. I learned to go numb instead of staying present and getting emotionally injured.
Now when conflict arises in my current life, my instinct is still to disassociate from what is happening. That might come as a craving for a pastry or as the sudden desire to text someone I shouldn't. I will do almost anything to move away from anger in others and in myself.
Yet if I desire a more loving existence, it’s essential for me to tap into my anger. My repressed anger is keeping me blocked, and the only way to unblock is to begin expressing myself. This doesn’t mean that I rage all over people. It means that I notice when I am feeling anger and consciously use that energy to create change.
Learning about Ayurveda really helped me with this. In Ayurveda, anger is associated with our basic energy of pitta. This fiery energy rules the metabolism of our bodies and minds. Without pitta we wouldn’t be able to digest our food, process new information, make art or have any kind of sense of humor.
Pitta people are full of vitality, love to indulge in life and can get overly fixated on their goals. I have a strong pitta streak to me and can relate to these qualities.
Our fire energy is also responsible for our sexuality, our creativity and our ambition. This is our desire to become more POWERFUL and to create change! As women especially, we’ve probably stuffed our creative impulses, our sexuality and our drive for power down along with our anger.
I think this is because society has told us that we can’t go into these places. According to our culture, women are supposed to be pretty, good listeners and be grateful for what we have. We are not supposed to WANT SO MUCH MORE OUT OF LIFE!!
And yet we do. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t desire having more power in her life. But we are afraid of feeling that powerful. We are afraid of rising up, asking for what we truly want and sharing how we truly feel. We are afraid of slowing down enough to truly feel.
So we numb. We smile and accommodate everyone. We turn that unexpressed anger back in on ourselves as intense self-criticism. We take it out on our partners or our children. We feel guilty a lot.
Personally, I’m done with this pattern. I’m ready to feel it all, express my pitta energy and follow my role models of well-expressed anger--like Beyonce!
A little recap: Beyonce was angry because she found out that her husband, Jay-Z, cheated on her. Instead of stuffing it down, she chose to express it by making her amazing visual album about infidelity and female empowerment, called “Lemonade.” (Please watch it by buying her album which has a free download of the movie).
I watched “Lemonade” again this week with a group of sisterfriends. It was my third time, and I enjoyed her blatant displays of anger even more. The smile on her face as she joyfully smashes cars with a baseball bat is everything to me. It symbolizes the extreme release of repressed energy, and the personal liberation that expression can bring.
As you read this, I’m imagining that you have no desire to live in a constant expression of anger. I understand you, because neither do I. That would be an exhausting way to live, and I probably wouldn’t have any friends at the end of it all.
Anger is just a very important stop along the path that can give us the necessary fuel to keep walking forward into love. We have to go through it, but we don’t need to buy a house there. Feeling it takes practice and support. We can figure this out together.
Reading others’ responses will help you to understand your own tricky, yet essential, relationship with anger.
We are making this breakthrough together, and the more you participate, the more you will open to a different way of life!
The natural next step after feeling so much anger is learning how to truly set boundaries in our lives. Boundaries give us necessary protection as we move into the vulnerable space of real love. They hold us safe as we move back into relationships--with others, with ourselves and with the larger experience of life.
I never learned how to set good boundaries for myself, but I’ve been working so hard on it over the past few years. Next week I will share my hard won lessons on how to set better boundaries. Make sure you read!
Please let me know what comes up for you as you explore your anger. I’m here to support your journey and admire your desire to grow in your life. Thank you for reading and for being you.