Joy Clarke Therapy

Anger, a friend in need

Anger, a friend? It’s worth thinking more about anger. What comes to mind now is Sue Monk Kidd in Dance of the Dissident Daughter saying that we think of only 2 things to do with anger we feel: one is to bottle it in to keep the peace, the other is to express anger and hurt people – both are destructive. She talks of the 3rd way – to use anger to begin a process of change. She says that all social movement began with anger – against slavery, for the vote, against apartheid. Think of that! Using anger for building and for life-giving change.

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It’s also worth remembering, in our own daily lives, that anger is a second emotion, every time. It comes up when we feel something else. Rage comes directly out of fear, most often; fear of failing, of falling, of being stalled, not seen, overwhelmed or not having our needs met, dread of being invalidated, our space and/or ourselves not respected, of safety, emotional of physical, threatened.
I also heard recently, too, that anger is a way of rebalancing our energy. That makes sense to me: when I have been supporting Dave in his work, with a degree of real cost to myself, I can begin to feel alone, afraid that my needs will not get met, upset in case I’m side-lined, then angry with feeling ‘taken-for granted’ . I can use that inner anger to notice my needs and then tell Dave. Luckily, he listens with love! And things can change for the better for us both.

My friend, the big difference between you and those who unconsciously blast anger outwards is that you DO have insight – both into your own inner thoughts and feelings and those of the people around you. I know you hold yourself very accountable for what you say and do. You DO choose kindness to others when you can.

It also makes sense that you have such deep and sometimes conflicting inner thoughts and emotions, and you are so consciously working with all that you have experienced. You might get wrapped up in them, entering a different space in your mind than the normal daily social stuff. You may lose your compass, and compassion. The thing is, I know you find your way home again.

Also when you are at odds with yourself, distressed or battling, that really absorbs a lot of attention. GIVE YOURSELF TIME. Later you will look back and honour the wisdom of your process this year and next.

Please, please, let kindness be your guide – firstly to you. There’s a Yiddish saying: Kindness is the most important thing, especially to yourself.

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