Over this past week, many of my clients have expressed a challenge with anger.
For one client, a female health care worker, to be angry felt so uncomfortable because according to her, it’s just not who I am, it’s not what I do. For another, a father going through a divorce, he kept finding himself on the receiving end of anger from his son and soon to be ex-wife. And he was tired and somewhat perturbed by this experience. For another younger client, being angry was his way out of long standing depression and sadness. The anger that had been turned inward now found a voice and was channeled into calling a family meeting so his emotions could be openly discussed. Yet as my young friend and I talked, he realized that being angry was certainly part of his healing journey, but it could not be his destination.
Even in the news, we have witnessed angry protests of many across the nation against the lockdown. Angry for not being able to return to work, to move about freely, to get a haircut, and so forth.
I recently received an email and I too could feel myself triggered and it was so easy to associate the anger with the email contents. I also listened and held space for each of my clients as they too blamed the cause of their anger because of some external event. Like those protesting believe that their anger is caused by the lockdown.
I am never upset for the reason I think
This is one of the most helpful and practical lessons from A Course in Miracles. This lesson came to my mind as I watched the anger rise in my mind, as I listened to my clients this week, and as I watched the protestors on the news. I also recalled reading about the subject/object split in my ACIM studies where we separate ourselves (the subject) from everything external in our environment (the object). Basically, the subject/object split is a fragmented and split mind that believes in dualism. Everything is separate and outside of what I perceive myself to be. In this context, things outside- such as the environment, relationships, the economy and so forth- have power over me and can cause me to feel upset, angry, sad, and anxious.
My self-inquiry into anger always shows me that I am never upset for the reason I think. Rather, the anger is hiding some belief inside my mind about myself or the world that is ready to be released. It is not about the object that seems to cause my anger (the government, finances, relationships, etc.) but the subject ( myself) who feels the anger as a result of my interpretation of the situation. And with deeper mind training and a little willingness, my interpretation can be changed.
I feel inspired to spend these coming 7 days looking more deeply at my own relationship to anger. Do you want to join me?
About 2 1/2 years ago, I wrote a 5-part series of blog posts on anger. This week, I read these posts again and shared them with my clients. I realized that they were still relevant to the challenges we might be facing today. In China, after the initial wave of fear with the Corona pandemic, there was a phase of blame and anger before the Chinese really came together in true partnership and healing.
I feel that as we enter our second month of lockdown, we are moving out of fear and sadness, and perhaps there is anger that is coming up for healing. Many times, we self-medicate our sadness and fear with all sorts of distractions so we don’t have to do this deeper healing work. Perhaps the anger was there all the time and simply pushed out of awareness because we never really had all this time and opportunity to be with ourselves and truly be with those around us in lockdown.
Anger in ourselves or in others is rarely comfortable. We need to work with anger in a very mindful way. We don’t want to suppress the anger but we don’t want to express anger in a way that could harm ourselves or another. Let’s face it. Anger is a powerful energy but if not handled properly, it can burn us or burn others around us. Often, these can be the ones we love the most.
This journey of healing through anger is not for the faint-hearted. We need to be peaceful warriors here, and we need mighty companions along this path. There is such a power of joining and that is why I felt called to invite each of you to be my mighty companion along this path. In our joining, the Beloved is with us, guiding us, holding our hands, and giving us all the support we need to heal.
So what will our journey look like?
For the next five days, you will get an email daily from me with some reflection about anger and a link to one part of the 5 part series. Take time to read, reflect, and journal. You will be given writing prompts, as well as some movie suggestions that can help you view your relationship with anger more clearly, along with a guided meditation.
Then next week, Thursday April 30th at 11am EDT, we will all meet for a 90 minute group live Zoom session where we can join in healing, sharing our experiences, and gather for meditation/prayer as well.
The emails will be delivered each day to your inbox unless you email me to let me know that you prefer to opt out.
To attend the healing online session next week, you can register by sending payment for $20 here. Once I receive your payment, I will add you to the list of participants and you will receive the zoom details the night before the online gathering.
If you feel inspired to attend the online gathering but need some financial help, there are some scholarships available so please email me soon so we can secure your spot. Also, if you feel inspired to pay-it-forward, and sponsor someone to attend who might not be able to attend otherwise, please let me know as well.
Sometimes, we just need a little more support with our journey with anger. If you feel that might the case for you, especially if this has been a long-standing issue, then email me and we can explore what that could look like.
Thank you for being with me on this journey through anger. I know the miracles that await us are beyond what we can imagine. I am so eager to really give it my all knowing that all my beautiful mighty companions are with me!
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