How to Be Angry (Spoiler: I have no idea)

Oct 3, 2018

I was shaken in ways I had not expected by the hearings in the U.S. last week.

I was filled with rage. I wept. I shouted at the computer.

And I was very surprised.

I didn’t even plan to watch.

I’m surprised because I’ve traditionally been good at compartmentalizing, good at being able to get on with the work of helping women share their voices, of doing my own writing, of taking care of myself no matter what.

I have always refused to be overtaken by events I cannot control. If a disaster happens, natural or political, I call my reps, I give money to a reputable organization, I send love and care in my meditation, and I focus on what I can do: love my people, do good work, keep my mind and heart steady.

But I find this increasingly difficult to do.

Not just because of the reality show politics in the U.S. and other countries but because of climate change and the opioid crisis and the slew of complex problems we are faced with as a species that we can’t even get out of our own greedy ways to work on!

I thought my anger was because I was taking in too much news, but I cut way back and started a weekly news fast.

And still, I am bruised. Frayed. Angry.

I don’t want to hide behind my outrage and anger. Anger is a blunt force weapon not a subtle tool of negotiation or mutual understanding.

But I don’t want to hide from it, do a spiritual bypass, rush to fix it. I LOVE to fix things. My generally optimistic nature wants to do something.

But fixing feels too narrow or soon of a response now, too much like turning away from the white heat that needs to be felt.

Only it’s so hard for me to feel angry. I get in the way, try to make sense of it, try to coach myself out of it, tell myself it’s someone not okay. Not safe.

Even writing this makes me nervous. I think of you reading it and wonder if you will find me psychologically lacking or spiritually unevolved.

I’m working on allowing myself to feel what arises, to allow space… and to bear it.

It feels subtle and raw, very private and yet, clearly, public.

It feels remedial and essential. A different way to grow my heart because anger is as universal an emotion as love. We all feel it. Perhaps feeling mine more freely will help me understand the people in my life and the people who think differently than me a little more.

We shall see.

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