Have you ever felt beside yourself, either flushed with intense emotions or on the other hand checking out, or disassociating, from the emotions either in or around you? You are not alone. We all long for greater peace and safety within ourselves, and in the case of anger, we may want justice, retribution, or simply an exit strategy.
So let’s use anger as an example. One key insight, According to psychologist Margaret Paul, is that though anger may be disguised as blaming someone for their hurtful behavior, if we look deeper it is generally your inner child’s anger at yourself for not taking enough care of yourself, and that anger is projected or directed at someone else. When you can see that anger is a projection, that’s the start of taking responsibility for our emotions, and actually learning from them. It’s a powerful distinction.
There are 2 types of anger: the most common is blaming others for the hurt they are causing, for not seeing or considering or caring about you. This is often a reaction to avoid feeling helpless or trapped. You can feel bad and hope the anger will make the other apologize, but often they get triggered and emotions just escalate.
Then there’s outrage, or righteous anger – when you see someone being hurt, or an injustice happening and you want to make it right. This type of anger comes from a place of power, whereas the other one is the result of feeling like a victim.
In general, though is the anger helping or hurting the outcome you are looking for? Does it help you get what you want?
We’ve got the wounded child who’s acting out using anger to get some relief; we’ve got the inner child who felt vulnerable and who now needs the protection of the wise self or compassionate parent part of you. We all have these sides.
The Anger process: So how do you deal with, diffuse, or befriend anger?
1.Imagine that person you are angry with is right in front of you. You can whisper, think, say or journal all the things, and i mean everything, you want to say to them.
2. Ask yourself – what does my inner child need or want to say to this person? Again shout it, whisper it, journal it…let it out. This is better than face to face as it releases the charge – and it’s between you and you. You’re not looking for an apology here, just to free yourself from the chains of anger.
3.Now – next level-it by asking who does this person remind you of from the past – could be a parent, grandparent, friend. Next, let your inner child either talk, yell or write about this person.
4. That was the past, now let that inner child let you know about the anger, hurt and resentment they feel towards you for treating yourself the way others had treated you. Maybe it’s the critic’s voice in your head, maybe it’s a recognition that you may have abandoned yourself the way others abandoned you. “how could I talk to myself, my sweet inner child, in such a mean way.” The idea is that mistakes lead to learning, and instead of control, which is an illusion, we need more compassion.”
5. When you are in reaction/disconnect mode, what are some of the ways you use to re-energize and come back to yourself? (Nature, music, breath, cooking, gardening) Make these a greater priority.
6. Somatic Strategies: Extra love - use your body to calm your mind. One exercise from yoga is a cooling breath: inhale through curled tongue and exhale through your nose. Try these long breaths 305 times. Another good one is alternate nostril breathing
Try these and see what you notice. The Inner Child work, especially, will move you towards the root cause issue and towards long-term healing.
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