For the longest time, probably more than three but less than four decades, I pushed my anger down.
I didn’t like how it felt.
I hated arguing.
I ran from conflict.
As you can imagine, this did wonders for my communication skills! On one incredibly hot, Australian summer day, my good friend Anna suddenly stated, “you know you’re a bigger bitch than I ever will be, right?!”
I remember being incredibly shocked and to this day am still not very sure what provoked her. The one thing I do know however, is that I didn’t request the clarification she promptly followed up with, because my mouth was still agape.
“Because I never know what you’re fucking thinking. You seem mad, but who the fuck knows, certainly not me…”
“…and stop apologizing for being you!”
With that, she stomped out of the room, leaving me no time to respond. My mouth may still have been agape.
I wish I could tell you that I learned something that day. I didn’t. I chalked our brief, and seemingly one-sided spat up to cultural differences and didn’t look back.
I should’ve looked back.
Seriously, it’s okay… get angry!
Recently, I decided to work on uncovering and reframing some of my own internal blocks. Fairly early on in my inner journey, I discovered, shock of all shocks, that my inability to productively communicate when I was angry was one of the things holding me back from the success I had been working so hard to achieve.
Well, as we all know: WHAT WE RESIST, PERSISTS! Repressing my anger only inspired the voice to get louder and louder, until at times the screaming took over all rational thought. It clobbered my ability to be productive on these days. It’s constant worst-case-scenario dialogue would stop me from going for amazing opportunities.
I’m not kidding! GET ANGRY!
So, what did I do?
I decided to take some time to listen to my anger when she spoke. Let’s call her LittleBallOfAnger. I took some time to understand where LittleBallOFAnger was coming from rather than ignore her altogether. I took even more time to surround her with love and let her know that she’s been heard.
This process of acceptance isn’t perfect. There are some days when I don’t want to hear LittleBallOfAnger at all. There are some days when I want her to go away. There are some days when I let her existence bring me down. But with awareness and work, there are some days when she works in my favour.
Today I decided to let myself get angry. I pushed past the icky feeling and heard her out. You know what LittleBallOfAnger had to say?
She told me that I needed to fight more. She dared me to become clear with both myself and the universe about what I truly want, and not some bullshit excuse of a business idea that would see me doing THIS before THAT.
She reminded me that I am more than ready to achieve everything I set my mind to.
Thanks to LittleBallOfAnger I gained a whole bunch of clarity on an idea that had been holding me hostage in the land of stuck today. Thanks to LittleBallOfAnger I moved that much closer to my goal today.
So do it!
Get good and fucking ANGRY!
Wanna read more about my ladies? Check out Lean In With Love: A Story Of Acceptance.