I have been deep in some shadow work this past few weeks, not because I think anything is wrong with who I am at the moment, but because I am now noticing unexamined beliefs within me. A piece that has come to light in this moon is embracing anger within me. I am a fiery red-head at times, but I am almost always mad at one thing - not being heard. When I do not feel someone has really valued me or heard me, I get defensive nearly immediately. When I do not feel heard, my standard response is to get angry and walk away. I have a friend in my life that is teaching me that my anger is really okay and that I should not walk away when I feel it. This friend allows me to be in my anger, express it, and move through it to a better friendship and trust.
Anger is a natural emotion. Repressing anger is not natural for me. Repressing anger turns into resentment and disconnects me from people. Holding back who I am or pulling back my affection only furthers the divide between me and someone else. Not everyone can be okay with me being angry at them, but I will not repress my anger anymore. I am realizing that by bringing it up and being in the muck of it with someone, I create space for Spirit to really do the work in the relationship, otherwise, I am just wearing a mask. If I stand with someone, own my anger, feel the hurt that sits just below it, I can transmute it into a real, deep conversation, which turns to understanding, which then turns to love. Running away from anger because I somehow perceive it to not be "spiritual" or "good" means that I repress whole parts of me.
I am a firm believer that our emotions are our guides showing us where our lives our out of alignment. They are not good or bad; rather, they just are. They simply are a part of our human guidance system. When we do not listen to our anger, we are not listening to true inner guidance. When we are not honest with people about our anger, we cannot deepen our relationships. We can pick any emotion here from hurt, frustration, jealousy, sadness, fear, despair etc. Whatever we push against, we energize. Whatever we love, accept, and embrace, we bring into wholeness. When we use the guidance of that emotion, we can change our lives to be in alignment with our soul.
There have been many people in my life that have made me angry. Every time I have been angry, it has been for a good reason. I do not get angry just to be angry. I get upset when something does not feel right for me - whether it is the way they have treated me or the way a situation with them has not worked out. I cannot think of a single instance of anger that was unwarranted. It is what I do with that anger guidance that is important. Do I value the relationship enough to do the work to get to the deeper connection? Is the anger trying to get me to move to a different life that I would be more authentic living? Is the anger being triggered by a deeper need within me? My answers vary because every situation is different. My anger has helped me walk away from dysfunctional relationships, but it has also helped me fight for the people who are worth fighting for. Anger is an opportunity to look at our deeper hurts, decide on the lives that we want to live, and step into the direction of our soul's calling.
The light does not come without the dark. The good of the Divine does not come until we embrace our shadow side. One thing that I know for sure is that the shadow work never ends. It gets easier because I now embrace my shadow and am willing to go into the depths of it; I know when I dig deep into my unexamined self, I always come back to the light with a stronger connection to God and more compassion for others. When I am willing to embrace what people see as the ugly, imperfect, flawed, or emotional sides of me, I get back to the light far faster because I come to value those parts of me; Besides, all those so called imperfections are exactly what the Divine created me to be. If the Divine wanted me any other way, I would have been created that way.
I wish I could say that if you do your spiritual work, you will miraculously wake up one day and have perfect peace. I have yet to meet a single person where this is the true case. What I understand from my own journey is that I actually dance back and forth between the light and the dark. Sometimes, I have been in that darkness for years because I refused to embrace the guidance of Spirit within me and embrace the shadows of my unexamined self. So dive in deep to the shadow. You will emerge radiant from its cleansing work.
My questions for you this week:
1. What are you angry about?
2. What is your anger trying to move you to do?
3. Is the situation your angry about worth fighting for?
4. What scares you about going into your emotions?
5. When has there been a time that your emotions have drawn you to a deeper understanding or a more authentic path.