Burns and Safely Expressing Anger

Posted by Joanna Rubini on

I am sheltering in place, suddenly going from living alone to living full time with another person in a different state living a totally different lifestyle, and my body is constantly giving me little alerts about what I'm feeling.

I know in my heart of hearts that we are all meant to love one another and accept that we are all different and wonderful and unique, but sometimes a memory of my past is triggered and I feel a strong emotion that I do not necessarily want to express. Like anger. Anger is a funny feeling, because we may think we are angry, but usually underneath we have a myriad of other feelings the anger is masking- like shame, embarrassment, feeling trapped or controlled, etc.

Freshly Burned Hand image by Joanna RubiniThe other day I was making hot tea, I boiled water, I poured it basically directly onto my hand. I knew immediately I was having a hot thought (the pun is intended and appropriate) about having my quiet me time invaded by a well meaning early bird employee. Literally, thoughts about resentment of my invaded space led quickly to burning my hand. What was I going to do- deny my feelings?  Well in truth, I was slightly because I know in my heart that I am a loving being, so having resentful angry thoughts does not sit well. And as I am very similar to most people and want to be loved, feel love and give love, expressing that resentment aloud was not going to serve that cause. So I mostly squashed it down under radar, so the louder radar of burning myself occurred instead. YIKES! I did immediately apologize to my hand and soothe it and acknowledge the feeling underneath, but I was still burned for a week or so.

So last night when my shelter in place husband hinted that my cleaning of the new glass cook top stove with Bartender's Friend powder (which is awesome stuff, BTW) was perhaps not perhaps the advised cleaning protocol, I got gently angry. I'm saying gently because at first it wasn't a big deal, until I really thought about the thoughts I was having, and I thought about the burn I sustained a few weeks prior due to lack of acknowledgement of my angry feelings. I stood looking at the spotless perfect cook top for another minute, and then I stormed out of the kitchen, out of the apartment, out of the building, and found a quiet place, to weather my storm. Because I did not want another message from my body about suppressed emotions. Instead, like a perfect psycho, I visualized a frenzied insane display of ire. I smashed not just the stove top in my mind, but also all the windows, laughing quite like a hyena or other crazed hysterical sounding beast. Until I was crying, because once my anger moved through me, which it did - I felt it in the shaking and trembling coursing through my body, then the vulnerability underneath was revealed. The little child under the frontage of anger was laid bare for me to acknowledge and heal. She mostly wanted freedom to move in her space as she wished without feeling bondage and constraints.  I know just where in my past I felt constrained, I recognize why I was triggered.Healing Burned Hand Image by Joanna Rubini

The amazing truth is that our outer world reflects our inner world. So I was teetering on the edge of righteous victimhood as I reviewed feelings and circumstances from my past that were brought to light over the " cook top incident" until I remembering this fact. So basically, in my past when I felt controlled and constrained, I literally was binding up myself. I had to eat this and exercise so much and only allowed myself to feel certain emotions...so many rules at the time that it was a no wonder that I felt like I was in a straight jacket.  To summarize, present life causes triggers to our past experiences that might not have been fully felt. To transmute the energy, fully react in the way we crave, best done visually and avoid smashing anything! Then we can see what's underneath that needs acceptance and support and finally healing once we support our past selves and give him/her what she craved.  In this way, our body maintains its perfect performance without having to deviate to deliver messages to us about hidden feelings.

Written with love, vulnerability, gratitude.

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