Making Friends With Your Anger Dragon
Lately, I've realized that I'm way more pissed off than I thought I was. There's anger that has been buried deep in my gut beneath a layer cake of other feelings, covered in intensely protective icing. All the healing I've been doing over the last 20 years has been eating away at that cake, and finally, I'm in touch with a new level of rage that I haven't been able to access before now. It's the intense rage that I've carried from the abuse and neglect I suffered as a child. My relationship with my anger feels new; it's invigorating and sickening all at the same time.
If I allow myself to replay the memories and painful stories from the past, the white-hot emotions that come up can be so overwhelming I go into a kind of shut down nightmare fantasy land. I find myself imploding instead of exploding. I start to feel hatred for myself and my mother and my father. If I follow the spin-out further, I can begin to feel dangerous hatred for ALL of the mothers and fathers who've abused and neglected their children. How dare they! My anger is like fuel, taunting me to send sparks, engulfing everything in flames.
This is how the toxic snowball of anger and rage begins. It starts from pain buried deep inside us. The pain turns to anger; the anger to hatred, and if unchecked the hatred eventually turns into rage. If we aren't careful, the rage can turn into violent actions towards ourselves and others. The violence can be sneaky and subtle, such as silently judging or withholding love. Or it can escalate to extremes; yelling, saying harmful things, even hitting. If the flames get fanned by other violent ragers, the toxic cauldron of pain, rage, and violence will express itself in catastrophic ways, like the mass shootings we've seen in the recent news.
I've been practicing ways to work with anger and painful feelings for years now, and honestly, I thought I had it all figured out. I know how to breathe, move, and feel things like a champion. I know how to recognize myself going into fantasy land and how to change my thoughts, so I don't get myself into a detrimental rage spiral. I know how to talk myself through these moments. I've got mad skills ( pun intended).
The blind spot I recently found and removed revealed to me that there was some anger lodged so deep in my body and Being that I wasn't able to access it and work with it. This anger has been festering inside me like a sleeping dragon in a cave and preventing me from feeling the full range life's joy. This dragon has been attracting other disgruntled dragons into my life who have been harsh, neglectful, and withdrawn.
This newly mined anger requires a specific kind of approach to self-healing that I'm not as comfortable wielding as the other tools I use. This time the angry little girl inside me won't be healed by jumping around, yelling, and beating up pillows. She is scared and trembling from the outrageous disrespect she has suffered. She needs to go slow, feel safe, cry, shake, and allow love to wash through the knots and brambles of her broken open heart. She needs to climb into the cave, curl up with the dragon and make friends with it, listen to its wisdom, and forge a new way of being in the from the flames.
I've learned that the angry dragon has been guarding the gates of my heart and the treasures that live within. This time, it's not about banishing this anger, it's about opening this human heart inviting it in, sitting with it gently, and allowing it to be loved.
I'm a big fan of jumping around screaming, yelling, throwing things, and getting wild but lately, I've found that the most effective and energizing way to be with my anger and to transmute it into vitality is to stay present with patient care as I feel it in my body and heart. I know this sounds a lot easier than it is because all of those memories and stories can come flooding in with full force!
I work with a badass healer, counselor, and astrologer named Adam Gainsburg. Adam works some mega magic in the human and Astro realms but, the reason why I work with him is because of his mastery at sitting with feelings in the heart. He's been teaching me how to do this for a while now. The first tip he gave me when I started working with him is to sit in the "I don't know." When you choose not to know, you can be present with yourself and more able to allow the feelings to arise and be felt without push, force, explanation, or finding something to fix. If you can enable your alchemical heart to guide you, you will heal.
If you're interested in studying the "I don't know" and how to feel and transmute your feelings in your open human heart, check out Adam's work at www.soulsign.com. If you would like support accessing the emotions stored in your belly, check out the work of Jak Noble, a master Chi Nei Tsang practitioner I've been working with here in Berkely, CA at www.touchingchi.com.
If you want to know what I'm up to these days, I'm spending a lot of time sitting in my heart with my little girl and my dragon. I'm finding I need a lot of space, quiet time, and rest to nurture these relationships and heal up the tender rage is teaching me so much. I'm grateful to know how to heal myself and how to feel the full range of my human feelings.