Although the energy has felt heavy lately, I still am so grateful for all of the positive things going on around me and in my life. I have felt a bit depleted the past couple of weeks, and even though I was still enjoying the highlights, I definitely felt that need for rest. Lately when I am getting my rest, I have been having some vivid dreams, all seem to be in relation to conflict and arguments surrounding friendships/relationships which is very interesting to me. I am paying attention to the messages and just reflecting on what they can mean and what they mean in my current life. As I drop my people-pleasing behaviors and speak my mind, I know conflict is bound to arise, and this time around I am looking at anger differently.
I always had a negative view towards the emotion of “anger,” likely due to growing up in a home where rage seemed to be a common theme. Looking back, I think what was hardest for my brain was the fact that I was not allowed to have these strong emotions such as anger or sadness, and when I did I felt shamed or misunderstood. As an adult, I can now understand it is because both of my parents also were unable to handle their own big emotions, so how would they know how to deal with mine? At twenty-seven I feel like I am finally learning that these big emotions are actually a necessity for life and can even be tools in the healing process, and what I have recently discovered is that anger is actually a friend.
I was on Instagram and while I was scrolling through the self-improvement and mental health posts that fill my feed (so grateful that I fixed my algorithm to be all good news and self-love posts) I stumbled upon a post about anger by an incredible author named Brianna Wiest. In her post she wrote: “It is healthy to be angry, as anger can show us important aspects of who we are and what we care about. Instead of being afraid of anger, we can see it as an influx of energy attempting to help us see our limits, priorities and values more clearly. We can use it to help make big, important changes for ourselves and the world around us.” I shortened up the quote a bit, but this post blew my mind! I had never looked at anger in such a light where I actually was intrigued and excited about it!
I always remember feeling so shameful and upset when I had angry feelings, so I’d do my best to suppress them. Of course the anger would always slip out in some way or another, whether it was a sarcastic comment or a full blown hissy fit over something small-which this of course only made me hate that emotion even more. Anger usually turned into some sort of sadness/depression over the fact that I was an angry person or I was “just like my dad,” which I was desperately trying to avoid, but me shoving away those emotions away only made it easier for them to bubble up and boil over, resulting in exactly what I was trying to avoid. As I grew up, I continued on a path of people-pleasing to avoid conflict in order to avoid any of my own anger coming up, but that has had negative impacts on my mental health and overall growth.
As I am working through my healing journey, I am finding it easier to communicate how I am feeling with good friends and family. Instead of censoring my feelings, now I am getting in the habit of checking in with myself and trying to dig deeper into the reason I am feeling that emotion. Anger can show you what you are passionate about. Sadness can teach you the power of love. Happiness can guide you towards your purpose. Everything we feel can be used as a tool in growing and healing. I remember how I felt when I went on an anxiety medication that seemed to take away all of my emotions- I hated. I asked my doctor to come off of them after only a few months, and she told me I needed to stay on them for a year. Knowing that I needed my emotions and how I completely lost my sense of self, I stopped taking them anyways and never saw that doctor again. I’ve known for years that I needed to feel my emotions, so it’s time to stop avoiding them and keep reminding them that they are my friends.