processing my anger28 Apr 2019
as a part of my spiritual formation work this year, i’ve been exploring all of my feelings. including my anger.
anger is a funny thing for me for many reasons:
- as a black person in america, learning how to hide my anger has been critical to success
- as a man in america, learning how to suppress my anger helps me exist in spaces that i wouldn’t otherwise be able to inhabit, notably because my anger often invokes fear
- as a black man in america, learning how to hide and suppress my anger has been necessary for survival. in this country where my existence can be cause for murder (with the murderer, particularly by a state paid, having a high likelihood of no consequence), my expressed anger can cause the full weight of the injustice system to fall on my head
and i know i experience anger from time to time. i just have mostly suppressed it.
but as i do the internal work that is necessary for the development of my spiritual leadership, i’ve had to start tapping into and intentionally exploring my anger.
last month, i brought a reflection to my formation group and it was super helpful! here are a couple takeaways from the conversation:
- i have noticed that when i am angry, i experience a trauma-like response. i relive the incident over and over again, often emotionally beating myself up for the way i acted in the moment or re-imagining the scene, inserting what i wish i had done into the memory.
- as the group helped me explore why the incident made me angry, two reasons emerged: (1) because i let myself be wronged by someone and (2) because i expected/trusted that person to treat me differently.
there’s obviously so much more to explore here but i just wanted to drop these few thoughts here because they’re important.
i also feel like it’s important to say that our group facilitator, djalóki, gave me congralutations on three fronts (none of which i was expecting). he said congrats for:
1. committing to feeling your anger 2. for actually feeling it, and 3. and for processing it
words / writing / post-processing
360w / 11min / 5min