If you have been around me for a awhile then you know how I love rage. Anger and rage get such a bad rap. Don’t get me wrong, it can be really damaging and terrible when they are unconsciously running the show. My fondness is not light, willy-nilly love. Instead, it is deep respect and honoring love that recognizes rage as a compass for justice and boundaries, and as a pathway to joy, passion and ecstasy.
My rage was internally directed for decades, when the physical pain I experienced, my PMS, the excruciating feeling of wanting OUT of my body was unbearable. I didn’t even know I was angry. When the little box that my rage was trapped in came pouring out I was surprised. Honestly. I thought I was so easygoing and sooooooo flexible. It turned out I was just ignoring all of my own boundaries and tolerating things that I knew were not right.
My rage exploded out, and I joined the masses of people who consciously and subconsciously experience anger. I began a daily journey of learning who and what anger was, and how to live with it. First I tried purging it, and that was important and useful to a point. Then, when I bumped up against my own edges that were still hot and irritated, my mother said, “You can’t rid yourself of anger entirely Sophia, anger points you towards injustice. You need it.”
I wasn’t pleased to hear this. Still, I took it to heart and discovered she was right. By showing me what was wrong, this pulsing anger pointed me toward how to love and respect myself and others. It was messy to sort out, but beautiful and worth it.
Often our anger is misplaced but not inappropriate. This can be difficult to untangle. We may have a habit of projecting our anger onto other people or things; how are we supposed to discern who or what is causing the alarm of injustice to go off? When you become close enough friends with anger it tells you the truth.
My anger and I trust each other now.
This is what I have come to know as home inside of me: Rarely does my anger rage. My anger starts with a little tingle that I know to stop and listen to, and when I do, its guard relaxes and no violent outbursts (internally or externally) happen. Anger has a place at the table; it always has a cup of tea if it wants one. I consult with wise Angry Sophia, and Sophia Wise One, not Angry Sophia, decides what I do and how I say it. Unless, of course, I have ignored Angry Sophia’s signals and she comes out to protect me. When this happens I bow and say thank you, and Sophia Wise One comes in and cleans up any messes my self-denial caused.
Anger also tends to sit atop a deep well of grief. Working intensely with anger usually looks like waves of anger followed by waves of grief. Eventually either anger gives way to empowered clear vision or grief flows into deep peaceful currents of compassionate understanding.
After this 2016 presidential election I did a live Facebook video on working with and trusting the emotions of grief, anger, and hopelessness. You can watch it pinned to the top of the news feed here.
One of the reasons I love teaching about rage, especially in person, is because when you’re properly supported and given tools to engage with it you learn to befriend it as a really trustworthy ally. Through practice and with support you can learn to allow it instead of repressing or being afraid of it. It can actually (I’m being real here) become fun. After the scary part, rage and anger light the pathway to ecstasy, joy, and loving power. The same path that births a child, orgasms, sings with abandon, and laughs uncontrollably.
These are my two favorite at home anger practices:
One of the ways I love to help others get down and comfy with their rage is through my workshop called Trusting The Dark. If you are interested in learning more about this workshop or would like to talk about working with me to host another iteration of it I can be reached here.
All My Love And Blessings On Your Anger,
….Next up, some light dinner conversation on the subject of shame. See you then….jk…but seriously, it’s a good, important, get-real post on turning the poison of shame into the medicine of wholeness, freedom of expression and affection. xoxoxoxo