When I used to think back to all the traumatic moments in life, those significant moments in childhood that had the most painful and lasting impacts, I felt… nothing. I wouldn’t feel sad, or angry or anything else. It wasn’t until I started writing about those experiences in my newsletter that I started to feel things.

I was recently having a conversation with a friend about the day my birthmother forced a reunion with me, barging into our Airbnb, while I was in Korea to go through the adoption process for my second son, even though I told her I didn’t want to see her. While I’ve felt sadness and grief when I shared that story with you a few years ago, it was the first time I really felt angry about it. “How dare she?” I remembered saying to my friend.

Anger was a dominant emotion in my household growing up. My father would explode at the smallest of things and to this day, he gets angry and gives me the silent treatment if I say something he doesn’t like. Anger is also my greatest shadow. I remember one time, I dared to respond to my father when he asked me where I got my anger from and I said from him. You could just imagine how he reacted… it wasn’t good.

I’ve spent most of my life hating my anger because it represented everything I hated about my father and what it was like to grow up in a household where there was so much of it. I remember feeling desperate to escape and have always made a point of living as far away as possible once I could. Whenever I’d feel angry, I felt ashamed and judged my anger, telling myself I was an awful person not worthy of love or acceptance. When I became a mom, I’d feel this most when I found myself losing my temper with my kids.

I’ve tried hating my anger. I’ve tried judging it and shaming it and ignoring it, pushing it down deep within me hoping I could hide it. But all that did for me was make me feel worse and it didn’t give me any more control over my anger.

I’ve been working on my shadows for the last couple of years and what I’ve learned is that we can only get better when we show those parts of us that we don’t like compassion and acceptance. Anger is an emotion, much like any other emotion. It is energy that surfaces from our bodies and when we deny or shame it, it gets stored and then comes out in uncontrollable and damaging ways. I always thought I was connected to my anger because it would surface so easily but now I see how disconnected I was from it. It was signaling for me all the things I needed to pay attention to… to recognize a boundary had been crossed or pointing to a part of me that needed healing. Anger is important to living a life of intention and authenticity because it tells us about important needs that aren’t being met.

I am ready to connect to my anger. I am ready to make peace with it and to stop hiding, judging, or shaming it. This is why I created the Anger Workshop which we’ll be holding this Saturday. We will work to connect to our anger, show it compassion and build a better relationship with it. If this resonates with you and something you’d like to connect to, please join us.

Register for Anger Workshop

This is from a personal journal writing shared in the newsletter and typically not shared on the blog. To read these, subscribe to the “I Matter” newsletter below.

Photo by Anandu Vinod on Unsplash