I often feel shame after using my voice firmly. I was raised to be a “nice girl” (polite, lady-like, quiet, docile, and people-pleasing). Many of us women were raised this way, yes? When I express my voice firmly, I always feel like I have done something terribly wrong. The shame is crippling. People don’t even have to shame me. I do it myself due to old programs running in my head. I used to question my mom and talk back and I was punished for it. I learned that I was invalid. I learned that having a voice and questioning authority is wrong. That I was too stupid to have any say. I was talking with Sujata yesterday and she was talking about how anger is our most stigmatized emotion and that made so much sense to me. She mentioned that those who shame people expressing their anger are in denial of their own.
“These shamers are basically in denial of their own anger, their own fear of their own anger, their own shame about their own anger, and on and on into bypassing oblivion.
It’s how the abuser took away their victim’s power to begin with.
and reclaiming that anger is a legitimate task …. like pretty much #1 on the “healing to-do list”
This hit me. It IS how our old abusers took away our power. And we move into adulthood like a child. This is probably why so many adults seek power outside themselves as they lost their own.
WHAT IF SOME OF US ARE TRYING TO GET OUR POWER BACK?
When I discuss anger, I don’t mean verbally or physically attacking another human making victims. I am talking about just plain old anger, that repressed and unleashed anger that we all hold on to. Unexpressed anger enslaves us unconsciously. We just don’t realize how unexpressed emotions control us. Yes, it is true that the original anger points to unresolved trauma, and we get angry at those (in the present) who remind us of the old wound(s). Sometimes we displace it inappropriately and other times it is warranted and sometimes it is both. We can both hold anger in the present and in the past. I also believe once we address the old anger from the past, we might address issues in this world differently — in a way that doesn’t tax our health perhaps, but we have to start somewhere and I believe we start off in the present. It is almost impossible for a 50 year old, for example, to feel the rage they did not get a chance to express when they were a child without some trigger/reminder in the PRESENT. Daily adult life sometimes gives us challenges so that we can return to our past and heal the old wounds. For example, so many people (it’s pretty much a cliche now) have been in dietary cults and have gotten severely harmed, depleted (me) and I know of two already that have died. There is a lot of outrage and some of them are still angry after a couple years. It annoyed me. I wanted to tell them to take responsibility for their own feelings, own the mistake you made worshiping idols, and move on. I was getting annoyed at one person’s stuck-ness and choices to go to the opposite extreme, dietarily. But after some discussions I have had lately with my friends, I realized hey…… these people are just discovering their power!! The friend I was angry at…. she’s just starting to stand up and find her voice. When I recognized this, I wanted to cry. She is living out her sacred emotional process with no apologies. Anger is power. Some of these dietary cult members were suffocated by their submission to authority outside themselves that they, in order to get their own power back, are speaking up about it and also trying to help others as well as I do. If I am a good friend, I will be curious and try to understand and learn about their process keeping in mind we have all either been there or will be there at some point. This might be the human experience we come here for!
ANGER IS RIGHTEOUS. And it might take decades if not lifetimes, to find our our voice again. And as we start to find our voice, just like in childhood, we might be punished and condemned for it. We might scare people who haven’t found their own power. We might lose friends. This is part of the process. Speak up anyway. The world changes through our voices. People have turned my life around by theirs. And sometimes we need to hear these angry voices and we sometimes need to be pissed off ourselves.
Forget spiritual communities and leaders….. our whole culture looks down on emotions, discernment, boundaries and our human nature. THIS is why I write.