These were the questions given to reflect on today about anger:
- Write down the times in your life when you felt and expressed anger. Was it compassionate or closer to rage? Explore how knowing the difference might have helped you accept the voicing of anger. Would the anger have been easier to accept if you had voiced it differently?
use streaming to explore how your anger is “the shape of your family’s eye.” Another way of saying this is: how did your original family express anger? How does this compare to the way you express anger? How are you the same? Different? Are you reacting to someone’s anger or choosing how to deal with your anger for yourself?
- Name three things you are currently angry about. Can you change the situation? Yourself? Or is this a matter of acceptance? Can you think of some ways to release your anger without hurting yourself or others? Write about that.
so I went to bed last night thinking about anger, knowing that this was the word for today – the emotion for today – the flavor of the day – my friends would and have told me that I do not do anger well. there are so many times that I have felt like I have exploded and yelled at someone and then when I go to apologize for how I voiced my anger, they look at me like what are you talking about? When did you yell at us? Really – did you think you were angry. I guess it is how I voice my anger that has made all the difference. But the thing about anger that frustrates me is that at times, not so much anymore, but there are times I feel like I should apologize for getting angry and that makes me angry. I have a right to be angry at times and I have a right to express my anger. The thing is that normally what I try to do before I say anything is look internally at what I am really afraid of because for me anger is an expression of fear. So before I speak out of anger, I try to look at what is really making me angry. Why am I allowing myself to feel angry? What part of my life is being triggered, restimulated, whatever verbage you want to use. Sometimes, it really is not about me. For example, there was a situation where I had to ask someone why they had violated an agreement we had. They got mad at me for questioning them about this. That was about them. When they attacked me and tried to make it about me, I found myself getting angry because they would not take responsibility for what they had done. Even when I voiced my anger compassionately, they continued to get angry with me and abuse me verbally. Their yelling at me retriggered some abusive situations from my past. It is part of why I do not voice my anger in rage. Rage scares me. My father, may he rest in peace, was an alcoholic for many years. When he was drunk, he would turn into my “other father,” the mean one – the one who would yell, scream, and in my eyes as a five-year-old turn remind me of a fire-breathing dragon. Sometimes I would be so scared, I would hide in this baby dresser in the sewing room, in my bedroom closet or in the crawlaway in the basement. I would always look for a safe hiding place. Today, I do not hide in those spaces anymore, but try to voice my anger in a quiet, loving, and compassionate way. I have come to realize that I have no control over how others voice their anger, but I do have control over how I voice mine.
So what makes me angry now – what three things I am currently angry about. I didn’t know I was. I am currently not angry with anybody. There are a few people who get on my nerves periodically, but anger – hmm. I am angrier about situations. I am angry that they cut my weekend liftline services – well they didn’t exactly cut them, they just put me in a supplemental service area on weekends and holidays – that makes me angry, but as there is nothing I can do about it, but move, I have come to accept it. What else am I angry about – hmm – I am angered by the inhumanity in the world – in a world that proclaims to be a world of people of faith, there are so many people who have forgotten how to be compassionate. I constantly say the healing cannot begin until the wounding stops. So why do we keep wounding each other? This lack of compassion and lack of humanity makes me angry. So I do what I can to make a difference, I educate my students about it, and I work to help others be more loving of themselves because I truly believe in the teachings of Ghandi that we must be the change we want to see in the world. three things – huh – not sure what the third would be – why am I hearing the theme song to jeopardy playing in my head while I try to come up with a third thing I am angry about. I guess the third thing is that I am angry that I cannot think of a third thing to be angry about. Guess I will accept it – are there things in my life that I wish were different? Sure. Like I wish my brother who self-estranged himself would come back into my life, but I have come to accept that. Do I wish I could drive again. Sure, am I doing something to fix that. Yes – looking for full time employment so I can afford a car payment. Has anybody pissed me off lately. To be honest, not really. Ok, so here is something I am angry about. Why are professors given so little time to grade papers/projects and get final grades in. yeah, that does piss me off. I get tired of the long days of grading. Unfortunately, that is systemic and not a whole lot I can do about it. So I laugh about it with friends after we have recovered. It would be great if we could have an extra week, but then the registrar’s office would have a shorter break and there would be another excuse, but it is harder to get in the holiday spirit when you feel the tick tock of the clock saying you have 24 hours left to grade 24 papers. Ok, so actually write now I have 10 left. I probably should have done them first and then worked on my own writing, but this is what I would rather be doing and so I am. It is not that I do not enjoy reading some of the papers, but doing my own personal writing and reflection is so much more fun, then having to evaluate other people’s work. But that is life.