As a sensitive person, I feel all emotions pretty intensely. If I'm excited, I feel like my heart is leaping out of my chest and if I'm sad, I feel like my body weighs a ton. However, the feeling that's been most difficult for me to experience and work with is anger. Understandably, I'd sometimes rather ignore this "unpleasant" feeling. But all of our emotions - even anger - are here to teach us something.
One of the best explanations I've received around this topic comes from Karla McLaren's book The Language of Emotions. She talks about anger as a protective force because right under anger are usually secondary feelings like sadness, fear or even grief.
Anger can actually help us establish clear boundaries and serve as a wake-up call for the ways in which we're acting like a doormat or not being clear in our needs. For example, I used to say "yes" to everything, before promptly feeling angry and resentful of everything I had so "pleasantly" agreed upon.
If I had paid close attention to my physical and emotional cues - tension in my body and a heaviness in my breath - then I would've known that my anger was serving as wake-up call to honor my time and worth. In some situations (not all) anger can even be a sign of self-love. You love yourself enough to feel angry and set a boundary AND you love yourself enough to know what is and isn't okay.
The next time you're feeling angry or frustrated, open up a journal and write at the top, "What is my anger trying to say?" It may sound strange, but I've found a solid 20 minutes of freehand journaling uncovers relationship patterns and dynamics we may not be aware of on a daily basis.
The last time I did this, I discovered where in my life I was giving my power away. In other words, I discovered where I was placing too much attention on other people's actions to feel safe and happy. Only I can make myself feel those things. Underneath my anger was the true lesson - letting go.
In an age of distraction, our brains may tell us to ignore our feelings and to binge-watch the next show instead. And yet, when we're able to stay still, get curious and work with our emotions, we may just find the hidden treasure - that our emotions are here to guide and teach us about relationships, boundaries, ourselves and so much more.
Stay real. Stay open.
All my best,
Do you ever feel angry and wish you could get to the bottom of what was really bothering you? Have you tried anything that helps? Working out, journaling, talking to a friend? Write in the comments below and feel free to share!
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