First, a note to blog subscribers: Please always click on a new blog post TITLE when it appears in your email. I am a master of ongoing tweaks and edits.
Now – following my last post, +ON BEHALF OF MY SCOTTISH WOMAN WARRIOR SELF….., I would like to say a few more words about ANGER as I see this powerful life enhancing or destroying emotion —
The simplest way I can think about anger is to understand that as a primal-primary emotion it is the FIRST response of a body after a startle reaction when some demand from the environment is required for survival.
In this simplified description I suggest that an inner state of peaceful calm (connectedness) is SUPPOSED to be the center set point for our entire being. Of course when severe abuse and trauma in the earliest months and years of our development present challenges that never let us experience this inner state of peaceful calm — within our earliest attachment relationship environments — it is not likely that our center set point actually grows to be a reality for us. (Described elsewhere on this blog….)
But the way things SHOULD work optimally gives us a first reaction of anger — which is, to me, actually a power response that utilizes KNOWN responses to solve ‘a problem’ so that we can get back ASAP to the NORMAL state of peaceful calm.
If our first ANGER (fight) response does not work, we are likely to move to the next ‘spot’ in the survival cycle: FEAR (flight). In a state of fear we are forced to find SOMETHING else within our known repertoire of responses to danger and threat that we can try out in order to solve this environmental ‘problem’ we have been challenged with.
If we know NOTHING that seems to be working to solve this problem-challenge we then move on to the next spot in the cycle: SADNESS (freeze).
In this spot we are, I suspect, most open to learning something entirely NEW that we can add to our repertoire of effective responses.
If we can learn or find nothing new, and nothing we knew before works, and certainly — if we are moving around in this cycle — our first immediate anger response did not work (and yes, I have an expanded idea of what anger is…), we are in danger of perpetually being stuck in this sadness, this pain, this grief….
And we do NOT get to return to a center place of peaceful calm until something – or someone – is found to assist toward solution of this environmental problem-challenge.
All of this is presented in the simplest, shortest format I can think of right now. My point is that anger is essential to our survival – when this response is called for. So are the emotions of fear and sadness. It is not being able to solve life’s problems effectively that is the problem in the short and the long run – not the problems themselves and certainly not our emotions.
I am presenting here the first two chapters of the book I am writing that will cover up to my age of being nearly 11 (to middle childhood). These chapters are approaching final edit stage – they are not there yet.
I was surprised to find as I worked toward finalized format for this book which I at present am calling “A Shrinking Pinhole of Light,” that the book actually begins with experiences I had at age 14.
*Book Chapters approaching edit: A Shrinking Pinhole of Light
I write of my first experience with ANGER at what happened to me growing up in the second chapter at this link. Today I am thinking that had I known better, I would have been thrilled to see the first appearance in my conscious awareness of my own Scottish warrior woman at this first time I had ever encountered a memory of my abusive childhood. Before this time I had simply found no context to ever bring the first 18 years of my life up — to myself or to anyone else.
Anger at injustice. That is a concept of great importance to me. Every time I feel anger I can track that emotion to an injustice! Warriors fight against injustice. How that fight is fought, whom it is fought against, and what the success of the fight becomes — can only matter if we can acknowledge that ANGER is NOT our enemy.
This can be a very tough realization to come by for those, like myself, who have been the targets of insane brutal violent abuse. But it was not Mother’s ANGER and RAGE that hurt me — alone. It was what her mental illness DID with anger and rage that hurt me.
Without ‘anger’ our species would not be here. As a note, I am Netflix streaming a series from the history channel on the American Revolution. Without anger at injustice we would never have had a revolution, never would have won the one we had, and would not be a nation. That Americans perpetrated criminal injustices against others IS a part of the story.
Yet becoming caught like a fly on sticky paper in the cycles (revolutions) of anger at injustice is destructive. Finding ways to learn what we need to know/do to solve problems to be restored (or brought for the first time ever) to an inner state of peaceful calm (connectedness) – as individuals, as nations, as a species — is the end goal.
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