Monday, February 8, 2016

Becoming Friends with Anger

I feel like I am learning the delicate balance between honoring my feelings; using my voice; establishing boundaries; creating a non-negotiable relationship with my sense of self-worth and being authentic in all the ways I show up. Whew, yeah, that's a lot of learning and I guess I have been in this process for a long time. At times, it has been easy, while at other times it has been a pain in the ass to learn because I get the same hard lessons over and over again. In the midst of it, I am realizing things about myself, especially when it comes to my emotions, words and actions lining up.
I'm learning that honoring my feelings takes guts.  As I am navigating my way through this, there is a part of me that feels bad or guilty because as I get stronger in my sense of love and value for myself, the less I am willing to tolerate.

I have been known by many as being "too nice." I have also probably been known by many as being a "bitch." I think they go hand-in-hand because when you get to the end of your "being too nice," rope you become a bitch or, at least this is what I've noticed about myself. This is the most feared person in the world, right? The person who gives and gives and gives, then suddenly blows up.

I have had to work long and hard on becoming friends with my anger, my hurts, my vulnerabilities, my humanness and my insecurities for a long time. When my boyfriend and I started dating he noticed this tendency I have to not say how I feel. But because we compliment each other in the way that we don't have the same kind of crazy, he has been able to hold space for me to look at this part of myself without taking it personally. He invites me to get angry at him. No, he doesn't say, "Sarah, please be angry at me", but he would rather that I tell him how I feel than hold it in. He knows it's not about him.

Watching myself work through this, I realize that I developed this coping skill of keeping my feelings to myself when I was young. I think somewhere along the way I began to doubt my sense of value and I lost appreciation for how I felt thinking that my feelings did more harm than good, so why share them? I also became afraid that if I was ever angry, my parents would take it in as something they did wrong and beat themselves up. I held myself responsible for their relationship and everything else around me. I thought if I could always be okay, I could keep everyone else okay. I realize now that this was extremely self-centered of me, but nonetheless, I didn't know any better. It's taken all twenty-nine years to re-learn what I learned in Kindergarten. How I feel matters.

In a yoga class yesterday, we were all in warrior I. I could feel myself heat up as I was in the pose. I felt agitated. I wanted to move, but through the class instead of trying to "let it all go", as I so often do and say, I just sat with myself. I didn't try to see the blessing in what I was feeling. I just let myself feel the way I felt. Something miraculous happened....

For the first time today, I told someone, outside my immediate family/boyfriend/safety net that they had hurt my feelings. As the words came out of my mouth it didn't feel natural, but it did feel better to be honest and authentic than not. I didn't pretend like I was perfect or bulletproof. I didn't pretend that the way I had been treated was okay.

Regardless of the outcome, my heart felt lighter, any anger that I felt disappeared and when I hung up the phone I knew I had just honored myself in a big way. Did I just graduate emotionally?

P.S. I liked the movie, Inside Out a lot.

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