Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Angry Responses

When there is a build up of steam in a pressure cooker, stand back as it is released.
When there is a fire blazing violently, let it burn, unless it is about to do harm.
When there is a person puking and pooping toxic waste, flush the toilet.
Do not allow yourself to be harmed by getting in the way or taking it personally.

Too often we fear the intensity, the emotionality, the out of control behavior.
Too often we step in, insisting on control, rationality and calming down.
Too often we want to figure out, analyze the cause and try to fix it or change the behavior.
Too often we label the angry child “bad” and the passive child “good”.

Where there is a build up of energy, there must be movement (energy in motion=E=motion).
Providing a safe place and method for people to express and release their energy is vital to health.
Adults often withhold their excess energy by conforming on the outside and causing illness on the inside.

We teach our children to try to explain and justify their irrational or angry feelings.
This simply teaches them to rationalize what usually is nothing more than a need to vent.
Why not support ourselves and others to learn healthy ways to vent?

When needing a place to release, choose the most loving person you know and ask permission.
When clearing toxic emotional waste, be alone, so no one gets hurt and your can clear in private.
When letting go of your feelings, remember to flush and clean up after yourself.
When helping someone else, remember to forgive and forget it all.
You need not try to understand, fix, justify or take it on personally.
Simply love them and trust their process of purging.

Are there enough outlets for the pent-up energy in your kids, your husband or yourself?
Is there too much pressure on our children to conform, to excel, to be good?
Are there circumstances which are confusing and tension-producing in ourselves and our kids?
Are our children acting out the unexpressed tension and anger within their parents?
Is there adequate physical exercise, jumping, running, tree-climbing, pounding for our kids?
Are there places and people who can and will listen without fear or punishment to strong feelings?

If we allow another’s anger to hurt us, their guilt may only add to their rage.
If we remember another’s angry venting with fear, we help them repeat their behavior.
If we protect ourselves from another’s anger by being careful, they feel the withhold and lack of love.
If we punish others for their anger, they learn patterns of withholding only to vent in more explosive ways, when the energy is too much to contain. Or they may make themselves sick or depressed with the inner rage.

If you are angry, find someone to simply listen and give you what you need.
Holding, rocking, a safe container, understanding, being with you emotionally.
If you are angry, explore ways to release excess emotions that are most healthy for you.
Journaling, martial arts, exercise, yelling and pounding outdoors, or on a punching bag.
If you have anger, look for how you can take your intensity and use it for good.
Support a cause, do something productive, write books and give talks with passion, go help others.

And if you have someone who is angry in your life, create healthy ways to support the release
or create a communication system that gives both parties permission to take care of themselves.

Remember anger is simply energy which needs to be moved, like stormy weather.
Pent-up anger is often toxic and foul because it has been held too long,
and does not know how to release in a safe and productive way.

Our culture is filled with tension.
Our families have little time for healthy energy release.
Our parents are stretched and over-stressed.
Our schools are overly strict with rules and punishments, both teachers and students pushed to scholastic excellence
Our kids are overly stimulated and under fed with opportunities to release their energy in creative ways.(unpressured sports, music, dance and creative expression.)

We can help by releasing our energy.
We can help be being a safe listening place.
We can help by giving ourselves quiet time for outdoor exploration, and inside music and creativity.
We can help by turning off angry and violent TV and video games, including the news.
We can help by feeding ourselves and our children the affirmation, appreciation and acceptance we deserve.
We can help.

Loving you,
Betty Lue