Not angry

“I don’t get angry” she said.

But if you’re human (and I think you must be), it’s likely that all human emotions are within you. It’s just that – perhaps for good reason – you’ve pushed some parts of yourself away, suppressed them so that you can’t see them any more.

Perhaps anger wasn’t allowed in your family, or in your culture. Or maybe you had an overwhelming experience with anger when you were too small to protect yourself from it. So you did everything you could to say “not this”, distancing yourself so you could stay alive wherever in the world you found yourself.

And now, it’s in your shadow. You recoil from it. You deny it’s in you. And you project it in myriad distorted ways on others around you – you see it in your colleagues and family when there is none, you run from it, you shut it down in others, you judge those who display it and those who are not ashamed by it. You fear what it will do to you if you get too close.

When you come to see anger as your shadow, you’ll find out how it has everything to do with you, how you carry it with you always, how you’re holding it so close you cannot see it. Quite in contrast to what you said, it may turn out that you’re full of it.

And you’ll see how you’re split off from a huge part of yourself – probably just the part you need in order to thrive, and the part we need from you too. And it’s only by turning to face the darkness of the shadow, and welcoming it in, that you can lead most powerfully, and fully take up your place in the world.

Photo Credit: photographer padawan *(xava du) via Compfight cc