Were you surprised by the title of the above article?
We girls learn from a very young age that we shouldn't get angry.
But is it anger that we shouldn't do?
Rage is yelling at our child, maybe even hitting him, when he spills juice on a brand new carpet we can't afford to replace.
Rage is a mother sabotaging her daughter's attempts at life and love when she sees her daughter having opportunities the mother either didn't have, or gave up.
If we have reached the point of rage, but have managed to hold it in (because nice girls don't get angry), we just might be depressed: depression is rage turned inward.
Rage is about losing control, when we say things and do things that we will long regret.
So, rage is definitely out.
Oh yes — definitely in.
Anger tells us something is amiss, that something or someone (possibly our selves) needs to be attended to, that a boundary has been crossed.
Anger is locking ourself in the closet, calling our closest friend, and sobbing about the juice spill, knowing that our 2 year-old is safe because he is banging on the door as we speak.
Anger is recognizing that in any choice made there are trade-offs. That we may be angry with our daughter not because of her but because we have become so Martha-like, we've forgotten that we get to be Martha AND Mary.
When we acknowledge our anger, rage never happens.
There is a wonderful lesson about anger in the film Enchanted.
Innocent Princess Giselle is back-and-forthing with Patrick Dempsey's cynicism and the words, ‘You….you….make me so angry', spill out. With this utterance, Princess Giselle has defined a boundary for her self, thus undergoing a rite of passage necessary to becoming more of who she is.
Has your anger recently helped you identify a boundary you didn't know you had?
When we become angry, are we not saying ‘no', as Psyche was required to do in her 4th task?
The next time you become angry, will you pause and be grateful for the information your anger is giving you: about what matters to you, about how you want your life to unfold?
When we attend to the anger, what Giselle-like thing can happen in our life?
P.S. If you'd like to read more in praise of anger, there is a powerful essay titled ‘Damning the River' in Rachel Naomi Remen's book Kitchen Table Wisdom.
P.P.S. If you ever have something you feel others would find helpful to hear, but tend to be a private person, just send to me your thoughts, and I'll post it as ‘Whitney's friend who would like to remain anonymous”…
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Stories We Love and Live By – The Myth of Psyche
Martha and Mary
When We Say No
Dreaming or Deflecting?