I had repressed this emotion in so many ways for so long (without even realizing it) that when I tapped into it the only word that comes to mind is “WOWZA”. I now know what anger feels like in my body. Lightning! I feel a bit like a superhero when I am angry because it feels like lightning is shooting out from my fingertips. Unfortunately, early on in learning about this new emotion, I mistook feeling a large amount of anger with the need to express it as well. I blew up at my brother for not noticing my haircut. I was hysterical. I should preface this with the facts that I have never noticed anyone else’s haircut, I had never before expected anyone to notice mine, and my brother is one of the most loving, supportive people in my life. A haircut. I realized rather quickly I was not on the “perfect” train.
I was, however, on the path to being more authentic with my feelings. I then began to be more aware of whether the emotions that were coming up were based on the situation in front of me or if they had been built up from the past. A wise person I know once said, “where there is hysteria, there is history.” This anger may have been from every and any situation where I had been over looked by someone or ignored in some way. I packed that anger away on ice and as it thawed I realized I needed to be very conscious of when and where I expressed this powerful emotion.
In meditation there is a moment my teacher calls “choice point.” This is the moment when you notice your mind is wandering and you need to make a choice. You can bring your attention back to the focus of the meditation or you can continue thinking about the pleasant, unpleasant, or mundane thoughts that arise. The choice of returning to the focus of the meditation is part of the training that helps to settle a racing mind. I have noticed that life also has these moments. Now, when strong anger arises in me, I feel it in my body. I notice it. What is it telling me? Have I felt this before in a similar situation? And then I have a choice. In the past I often chose silence out of fear, without even really noticing the emotion. I feared being impolite, or too opinionated. Now I give myself the space to feel and then react truthfully without being hurtful in the process. I used to think of emotions as being either good or bad, and anger was on my “bad’ list. My perspective has shifted and now I see them as all very welcome sign posts. They help direct me. They exisit for my growth and my protection. I will recognize and feel all of them to fully live and embrace life.
P.S.: Thank you to my amazing brother who asked if I had recently got a haircut the next few times I saw him. I love you!