I’m discovering a lot about anger and love, and holding onto the old pain of not being seen nor given what I thought I should have been given. I’m learning how to be with anger, and I’m learning it holds a place at the table laid out by Love.
I offer it here as my experience. Perhaps it might be of use to you.
It’s old, old stuff this anger. But, what I know about this is that we leave ourselves psychological grappling hooks to the past, a hook into a place where we refuse to budge until someone listens deeply enough that ‘letting go’ can take place. We cannot force the letting go. It has to come from the part of ourselves that put the hook there, the part that must be listened to, the part that must let go of her own accord, in her own way. She will let go when she feels heard and seen and loved for who and what she was in that moment in time, including her anger – or whatever other emotions were there that felt, and still feel, too big or bad or wrong to accept.
And what I know in my own life is that the one who must listen is me. We must listen to ourselves. We must allow the voice to be known, heard, and received. This part must be honored, acknowledged, and cherished for who she is, just as she is, with dignity.
Think about it. What would allow that hook to be let go of? What would allow that hook to give way?
We cannot force it. We cannot make the letting go happen. Only she, the one who placed it there, the one who still hangs on to it, the one who took that moment in time and froze in it, with it, as it. She is still back there, waiting for what she never got. Only she can unhook the hook for she is the one caught back there in time.
And what she taught me when I finally found her back there after all these years, when I finally traced my way back to that hook is this:
You cannot force another to give you love in the way you think you should be loved; but you can receive the love they offer you.
You cannot force another to receive the love you give, but you can give it unconditionally in whatever way you can.
You CAN give yourself love and you can receive your own love. You can complete this circle of love within your own being. This is really the only place where this can happen – this circle. And it can be infinitely given and received. You can be an infinite circle of unconditional love. Perhaps this is what self-love really is.
I’m finding it begins right here. Right now. I open my hand to her. She didn’t take it immediately. She didn’t want it. She wanted what was back there, back then. I had to listen to that. I had to not try to change her mind. I had to hear her out.
This is where anger comes in. She was angry. Pissed off. Royally so. Anger was a message that something was off. Something was wrong. Not acknowledging my anger just made that hook go in deeper.
She’s been fighting against everything – but doing so down where I wasn’t conscious of it. It was affecting my life, yet I could never quite see why what was happening was happening.
Over the past few weeks, as I’ve opened more to the deep well of unexpressed anger within me, it began to come in waves, wave after wave, so powerful, so alive and radiant. I could feel it being lifted out of the tightly packed pockets it had been stowed away in for decades.
And after feeling it, giving it the space it needed to flow again, it feels more integrated, like I now understand I need it. Of course I do. It is here. It is a part of what it means to be human. It is fuel for creativity. It is passion. It reminds me that I am a soul with dignity, and that others also are souls with dignity.
I can now feel that the anger knows it holds an important seat at the table laid out by love.
If it is all love, then it is ALL love. Everything has a function, a place. Everything within our own psyches must be seen and touched and acknowledged with dignity. If it is all love, then it is ALL love.
And if you’ve been taught that these voices are not real – try telling them that. Try to inform them they are not real. I’ve tried. It does not work. They will hold on to that hook until the cows come home…or until we die…unless we listen and open and love them as they are.
And if you tell yourself to ‘suck it up’, to ‘get over it’, or some other such phrase, okay. See if that works for you. It worked for me as long as I refused to feel what was really here – until the pain of it got to be too much.
These parts are some of the hardest parts of our psyches to be with. They are the ones we push away vehemently. And they’ve felt this push-away for years.
This is deep soul work. And it is worth it. It is taking responsibility for ourselves at the deepest level so that we can fully live our lives in a way where we can respond to life, rather than push against it.
These parts are waiting to be a part of this circle of love. They long to receive love…and they have much love to give.