My Ace, Anger
Posted on: Mar 14, 2017
As a li’l, I had a reputation of being Good. Obedient, self-contained, the most consistent behavioral complaint I got was that I laughed too much (true story). I have specific memories of overhearing adults remarking to my mother that it was so refreshing to see such a “well-trained” young lady. She LOVED that, and it was obvious even to my little eyes that much of her (parental) identity was tied up in how I presented myself – how I represented her.
Which kinda pissed me off. Because even though the “good” thing was partially true, I was also precocious and a little sneaky. I mean, a major reason I was so aware of my rep was because of my habit of tucking into the blind spot outside ol’ momma bird’s bedroom door to eavesdrop on her calls. But mostly – for reasons lengthy and ancestrally psychological – did (do) I have a temper! Still, the constant exposure to this story of myself as Good™ compelled me to maintain (the façade of) it, even when it felt inauthentic, as it often did. Plus – for reasons lengthy and ancestrally psychological – displays of downswing emotions were immediately quelled with the handy tool of shame.
It was suffocating, having aspects of myself silenced. And yet, I possessed those parts and they refused to stand down. Trapped in a feedback loop of being so mad because I was so mad, with no outlets for expression, I came up with (self-destructive) coping habits. They didn’t work, of course. Left on the heat too long, any pot will boil over.
As I matured, my coping mechanisms, by then habituated to the point of futility, were no match for my rage. For the better part of young adulthood, I lived in a state of barely controlled fury. I wove anger into my personality like thread – and, look, I have keen social skills, y’all. Keen. We’re talking charismatic like whoa, so while that bright red thread didn’t exactly clash with the other colors, it always stood out enough to be unmistakable; enough to take a toll.
I’m more coordinated now. The blend is subtle, when I want it to be. It’s not self-immolating anymore. I work on it, consciously – I may always be working on it, since – for reasons lengthy and ancestrally psychological – I’m in a state of rage almost all the time. And that’s okay, it’s great even, and here’s why: because I’m simultaneously in a state of bliss almost all the time, too. We possess the capacity to hold ALL of ourselves, all our messy, spooky, awesome aspects, responsibly, with compassion and neutrality. Emotions are simply invitations to explore the ways in which we’re constructed and to observe how we operate. Emotions help us figure out our “why.”
Now I know my anger is a tool of my liberation. Now I’m pissed off with a purpose. And I stay conscious of all my reasons “why.” I claim and celebrate my entirety without shame. Anger, joy, envy, love – to experience them and all their friends – that’s my birthright. To honor them and cultivate their quiet, tectonic magic – that’s my obligation.
It’s yours, too. If you’re into it.
How are you honoring all your aspects? Let us know in the comments below, yeah?