Is Suppressed Anger Making You Sick?
In its purest form, anger is concentrated balls of fire that bubble up from our depths. These balls of fire are our deepest passions, our life force, our fuel for change and one of the most useful superpowers available to us in life!
Suppress your fire and you mute your power as a human being. You may also be making yourself unwell and unhappy. At the core of much unhappiness, cancers, inflammatory responses and autoimmune diseases is suppressed anger that hasn't been released.
My past tendency with fire was to suppress it; I used to be addicted to being the helpful peacemaker. I loved the identity of being cool with everything. My mind would say, “Yeah that's fine, no problem, I'm cool with that,” yet at the same time my gizzards were firing up and saying “Hell no, that's not fair, what about me, back off buddy”.
Unfortunately, the backlog of fire would eventually burst out through a passive-aggressive look, an outburst of defiance or an inflamed body part! Sound familiar?
Over the years, through trial and error and making lots of so-called mistakes along the way, I've slowly learned to love my fire. It only took a few burned relationships and some mild chronic inflammatory illness to finally wake up!
So here's what I have learned about mastering your anger and, in turn
Think of the last time you flashed red with anger. Stop, open, breathe and welcome the fire energy to continue to move through you. Let anger be your signal to stop circling in the story and fully open to the energy that has been triggered. Directly experience the fire without the story.
2. Try indirect expression.
You may need to physically move a strong charge of fire before you can express it clearly. So find a safe space and move your body, breathe, dance, breathe, run, breathe, sing, breathe, scream into a pillow or roar like a tiger to release the charge of energy. Did I mention breathe? Write a letter without sending it, in order to release what you're feeling.
3. Follow up with direct expression.
Anger alerts us to what bothers us, so express with honesty how you feel about an angering situation. A great way to do this is to own your feelings (I feel...) and speak in terms of your passion. Let the person know what's important to you, rather than attacking what the object of your anger has done or said. Practice mastering the fine balance between aggressive, assertive and passive communication. Give yourself room for error.
4. Own your anger.
Acknowledge the mirror that other people's words and actions reflect about ourselves. Acknowledge where you may have treated yourself in a similar way and thus attracted the same behavior externally. This requires you to take responsibility for the feelings that have been triggered in a situation.
Use the fire energy as fuel to make any changes in your relationships, career and personal life that align you with your true passions.
Let your fire unleash with acceptance, honesty, maturity and love, and enjoy the health and happiness it creates.