Anger and your inner activist by Jamie Rea


I always think of anger as the emotion most closely associated with activism.

It’s the activist emotion.

Learning to work with your anger is you learning to harness your inner activist.


This is how I view anger: you getting in touch with your anger is you learning how to become an activist for yourself.

There is a fierce warrior within you and it’s connected to healthy anger. This allows you to become the activist to protect your inner world against wrongdoing or injustice.

 

We are often told anger is bad or unattractive or a super negative emotion to experience.

We should mitigate our anger or we should try to not feel angry at all costs.

But our anger is ESSENTIAL.

Without our anger, we’re not actually protected. Anger helps us distinguish right from wrongs. It helps us fight injustice. Without our anger, we’re BOUNDARYLESS.

Ripe for the picking. Able to be taken advantage of.

Anger is the emotion most closely associated with our boundaries.

Learning to connect with our anger is paramount in the process of learning how to know where our boundaries are.

When that PING goes off in the body, that is your body responding that there needs to be an act of honour or protection that must take place.

Anger is how we learn to HONOUR ourselves.

It’s the emotion that allows us to become an activist for ourselves, our inner worlds and our experiences in the world.

Every time we embrace our anger in a healthy way, we’re reclaiming and liberating ourselves. We’re honouring ourselves.

This breeds so much innate internal safety. We’re telling ourselves, we will protect our experiences in the world and protect against wrongdoing.

It’s how we truly create agency and authority over our worlds.

We stand up to those who try to invalidate us or destabilize us with manipulative tactics.

An unhealthy relationship with anger either looks like repression of anger or an over-indulgence in our anger.

 

An overindulgence in our anger….THE NEED FOR INSTANT-GRATIFICATION.

What this means…our anger is too uncomfortable for us to hold in the body so it must be removed immediately.

The way we respond through this INSTANT-GRATIFICATION is needing to remedy the discomfort of the emotion through an immediate action.

Tailing that guy who cut us off to seek retaliation.

Sending that text message immediately through a bout of anger and being passive aggressive in your response.

Unhealthy anger is also expressed through passive aggression – silent treatment, withdrawal, sarcasm and hurtful comments with the very direct intent to get a rise out of you.

This is an attempt to assume immediate control over a chaotic, boiling inner world that we can’t contain.

Some families…while deeply connected to anger, are not connected to their anger in a healthy way. Their connection to anger becomes the acting through the instant-gratification (over-indulgence) in their anger.

Often when we learn anger isn’t safe to express in our family systems, anger can morph into fear, grief or sadness.

As children, we will learn which emotions are safer to express over others.