It’s the vital second stage of working through processing LOSS and honouring grief.
When a traumatic event occurs we go into shock (denial) first as we reel in pain from the direct blow to our heart.
If we don’t know how to process ANGER many of us never move from a state of denial in life, smiling and pretending all is fine.
Denial is often maintained long term through self-medication with drugs, alcohol or any other weapons of mass distraction like busyness to keep our heart numb and on pause “in denial”.
Or we try and skip ANGER altogether and jump to the third stage of grieving LOSS into sadness.
People that don’t know how to acknowledge and own their ANGER either flip flop from denial (all is well) to depression (all is fucked) throughout their life. It is exhausting.
Or they become explosive, emotionally irresponsible and insensitively aggressive.
So if we don’t process our ANGER we either suppress it or explode.
If we emotionally swallow our ANGER it still remains within us. ANGER is emotionally toxic if we attempt to digest it.
Unprocessed ANGER will make us physically sick through stress-related diseases, or alternatively emotionally unwell, as ANGER turned inward becomes a form of depression.
Sadness is the natural third stage of processing grief, however, suppressed ANGER distorts our natural grieving state of sadness into depression.
Many of us are afraid or ashamed to own our ANGER, as it has been wrongly labelled, confused with rage, violence, neglect, cruelty and abuse in our past.
ANGER is none of theses states.
Rage, violence, neglect, cruelty and abuse arise from suppressed ANGER and unacknowledged LOSS.
Our ANGER is always about LOSS of something we love in some form.
Whenever I work in prisons or detention centres with very ANGRY inmates, the first question I start with is …
“What have you lost in your life that you’re still bloody angry about?”
I also set some ground rules from the start of my Emotional Fitness session. I ensure them I have no problem honouring their ANGER and creating a safe space for them to process it. However, they must not disrespect me, for everyone has the right to be ANGRY, however, nobody has the right to be cruel.
This framework works beautifully even with the ANGRIEST heart.
ANGER is caused through LOSS of time, respect, health, trust, financial or emotional security, or a relationship our heart deeply valued.
So ANGER often is our attempt to protect ourselves from further LOSS by pushing others away.
However, those unafraid of ANGER will not abandon us, but respect our grief, stay and help us heal.
When our ANGER is not processed or honoured it stands in front of love, blocking it from our lives.
Letting it out responsibly is healthy. If we don’t release it we remain emotionally immobilised, unable to ever fully surrender to love and trust again.
However, when we become willing to own our ANGER and honour it without fear or shaming ourselves or someone else because we’re upset, healing and growth occurs. Our heart then naturally moves gears into the third stage of sadness. We then flush out more grief acknowledging the value in what we’ve LOST and gentle acceptance starts to emerge like sunshine after a storm.
I’ve been blessed to have learnt a lot about ANGER from my third husband (Mr Delicious), who is not afraid of his own, or mine.
A decade ago when we started dating, a few months into our relationship I noted if I got ANGRY he didn’t go automatically into fight or flight like males in my past had.
He stood his ground without fear, acknowledged my ANGER, offered to make a cup of tea and talk about it.
I’ve slowly learnt when he gets ANGRY to do the same.
Having violent, alcoholic and abusive elders as a child had rendered me fearful of male ANGER as an adult, never daring to acknowledge my own.
My ANGER would then distort and become volcanic until I could suppress it no longer, eventually exploding into hysterical rage, and at times verbal violence would spew from my mouth.
Instead of blame and shame when I’m ANGRY these days, I know I must own it responsibly.
Sometimes I do better than others, but I’m definitely improving with age.
I still get upset and raise my voice sometimes, but can ride my wave of ANGER with more emotional balance. I’m able to better acknowledge whatever the LOSS is without losing emotional balance or my self-respect. Most of the time …
So let’s remember not to buy into the illusion that healthy, honest and growing relationships are always quiet, harmonious and blissful.
Everyone has the right to be angry, however, nobody has the right to be cruel.
May the respectful processing of ANGER by acknowledging the impact LOSS has on our heart makeway for gentle healing and more love in our lives.
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™