This is one of those touchy subjects and at times can be controversial because you may have a belief that says anger is bad, it's inappropriate and should never be expressed. Some of us have grown up learning that anger is a “negative” emotion and that we shouldn't be angry.
Growing up most of us had some sort of cultural, familial and social conditioning, telling us what is good and what is bad.
If your parents didn't have an emotional range to deal with your anger it would have been suppressed within you. For example if your parents weren't ok with expressing their anger, when you expressed yours they didn't have the emotional capacity to just be with you and allow you to express that anger and really understand and get into your world to really listen and feel you. They had to suppress that emotion within you because it's not ok within them. So as a child you learned that anger is not ok and learn not to express that emotion as it did not make your parents happy. All parents do the best they can with what they have. This is why I see the importance in doing this work.
Even as adults we have seen negative impacts of anger in relationships with our partner, friends and family. So anger for most people comes with a negative connotation. Many of us have seen anger and the impacts of it, whether it's physical or emotional abuse. But unfortunately most people confuse rage with anger. Rage is when we suppress and repress our anger until we hit a breaking point where that pressure needs to be released and we lose control and act totally crazy.
I sometimes see this with parents and children. Some parents don't want to get angry at their kids when they are throwing a tantrum so they ignore them and don't deal with it. Then it happens again and the parents suppresses that anger again and again until they can't take it anymore and lash out at the child by yelling and screaming at them or even hitting them as the rage has taken over but if they had initially been able to deal with and set clear boundaries in the first place, where they felt ok in being firm with the child they wouldn't need to go into rage and let their emotions take over and be in the driver's seat.
The issue with repressing your anger and not being able to own your anger can have negative affects on you and your body. It takes a lot of psychological energy to keep anger repressed, which can leave us feeling drained and frustrated. Some people experience it as mild depression, where they don't experience joy in their life. Repressed anger can lead to muscle aches and pains, tense jaw or a constant tense stomach that can lead to ulcers. You also run a risk of totally becoming numb and not being able to feel full range of your emotions. Also becoming codependent as you have no boundaries and you can merge with other people and lose your sense of self. You can start to form addictions, whether that's food, alcohol, drugs or shopping. Addiction comes in many forms, we use addictions to distract us from feeling our emotions. Repressing your anger can also decrease your magnetism and radiance and can have an impact on your sexual presence. So as you can see it can have a lot of negative consequences to your health, wellbeing and overall happiness.
Usually anger that comes from an unworthy source gets expressed as rage, when we don't feel worthy enough or good enough. We don't have clear boundaries and allow things to happen to us that we should never allow to happen. We have all been there we've all felt at times powerless to say no, that is not ok with me. People that don't feel worthy allow people to walk all over them, they either suppress that anger until that's suppressed anger becomes unhealthy and its gets expressed as rage onto some other poor victim or it leads to depression and become a victim of their circumstances.
When you truly feel deserving and worthy you are able to own and integrate anger in a healthy way. This gets expressed as, Im worthy and deserving of being treated better and I will not stand for this. This is my boundary and you have overstepped it and I'm not ok with this. This is not about yelling and screaming, it's about being grounded and standing in your power. Being strong enough in yourself to say NO!!! Enough!!! I will not tolerate this! You have to have a certain amount of worthiness to be able to do this. Someone that is insecure within themselves and feels unworthy usually won't be able to do this, they are usually saying yes to everything and everyone. Anger should never be violent outburst of energy. Anger is natural in the moment processes of assertion and setting clear boundaries and being ok with what you want and it's done with kindness.
So when we try to hold anger in and repress it, it becomes unhealthy or when its uncontained and gets projected onto people it has a negative impact but when we can integrate this aspect of ourselves we become more whole and complete as a person and have more energy and vitality. Anger is a very powerful emotion, it has so much energy behind it. When used in a healthy way, it's where your passion and fire comes from, it's your creativity and life force.
There's a really great analogy that one of our mentors Christian Pankhurst uses when he talks about anger and its power when integrated and used in a healthy way. He says anger is like oil, when you bring oil from the ground it's thick, black, gooey and dirty but through a process of refinement it becomes a incredible source of fuel that is running this entire planet. And that's exactly the same as anger, it's this thick black and gooey tar that nobody really want to deal with but it's the primal source when it has been refined. And refining it is not an easy process, it's learning to love and accept aspects of yourself. To feel, heal and let go of what no longer serves you. Learning to open your heart and giving voice to what's moving through your body. Allowing your emotions to move through you, as you start to do this it all begins to refine to the point where your anger won't land harshly or abruptly or be uncontained but it will become your natural fire burning deep in your core, you can actually be relaxed and have this internal fire burn bright.
Getting to this stage is not an easy process, it takes some work. Having someone that can allow you to express your anger in a safe environment, where you feel supported, felt and listened to can really help in moving you forward. The more that you learn about yourself and your emotions the more you can integrate these areas of your life and this may take working with a professional to support you on this path.
I would really love to hear your thoughts on viewing anger as a source of power as I'm still learning to integrate this. This is a new concept for me but the more I delve into this the more I see the power of healthy anger and how it can become the source of our vitality and happiness. Also I'd be interested to hear if this gave you any new insights on how anger may impact your health and vitality.
Live from your heart, Roman