I am standing on a stepladder painting my stucco ceiling with eggshell white paint.
Why am I doing this? Because the night before while having dinner with Scott I got extremely angry.
One minute we were drinking a great glass of red wine and the next minute I was screaming at the top of my lungs and banging my fists on the table. This whole thing ended in one final hysterical eruption, whereby I grabbed my wine glass and threw the wine so hard against the wall behind Scotts head that the velocity not only had it spread across an entire 5 ft wide wall but also all the way up to the ceiling where it left 2 plate sized stains and about 1000 tiny red droplets all over the ceiling, wall and carpet.
As soon as I threw it I regretted it. Actually, that’s not true, I only regretted it once I started scrubbing the walls and carpet and realized it wasn’t coming out. Then I was pissed.
This is not the first story I have where I have flown off the handle. It doesn’t happen all the time but there are at least 4 or 5 epic stories about where my anger has overtaken me.
Each time Scott is usually involved in some way and sits there stunned into silence at what was just witnessed.
The truth is that I get very angry sometimes and for the longest time I felt something was wrong with me, that I had a problem. In the beginning I would just feel a tidal wave of emotion move through me that just had to get out. It would sometimes erupt like a volcano with massive destruction caused all around me.
Then I started to track what was going on that would lead to these monumental outbursts. What I saw was that my anger was usually never really about the thing that I was fighting about at that moment, That if I looked deeper, I could see that the upset stemmed from a long list of smaller upsets that I had ignored, avoided or pretended was ‘no big deal’ that day or that week.
As I stood there painting the ceiling I reflected on what was really going on behind my red wine explosion. Originally, in the moment, I told myself it was because Scott got defensive and walked away, but when I looked deeper, what I was ultimately angry about was the lack of communication we’d had all week. We had both been so busy and we were hardly taking time to connect. There was also at least 3 moments that day when I tried to get his attention or ask him a question and I did not feel acknowledged or heard. His distracted energy ultimately led to me getting triggered as I noticed my personal feelings of being unattractive. You see, I have recently put on some weight and had been feeling less then pretty these last few weeks. As a result, his focus on something else only played into my own insecurities and sensitivities. All of which were unknown to him.
I was feeling this ‘distance’ for a few days, but instead of addressing them directly, I whipped up a quick dinner and poured 2 glasses of wine in an attempt to squeeze in an hour of ‘us’ time, hoping that would make everything okay. But it was all just a band-aid surface-level attempt to make it all nice. Sort of like putting icing over a cake made of dirt.
I feel strongly about welcoming in and allowing all of my emotions to have stage time. Like every color of the rainbow I want to paint the world with every color of my feelings. As a woman it is one of our greatest gifts and superpowers.
I am a firm believer that as women we are sometimes far too suppressed in our feelings of upset and anger. Many of us are taught both in our homes and in our culture to ‘play nice’ and behave a certain way. Women are emotional creatures and honoring all your feelings is your biggest access point to being fully expressed.
Emotions are messengers sent from the unconscious to the conscious mind with an important lesson to deliver. If you don’t open the door when they knock and invite them in …they’ll find a way to get in whether they’re invited or not. Even if they have to tunnel in underground. Owning your darker motions like anger, rage and envy can be a pathway to discovering the hidden transmissions that are trying to reach your conscious mind.
Though many may say they can do without having to repaint the ceilings, there are still ways in which we can as a collective, learn to better love and honor our entire range of emotions so that they all get stage time and are allowed to express their selves. Many studies have been done to show how unfelt feelings can be a source of all sorts of ailments, myopias, diseases and disorders. (Neuroscientist Candace Pert speaks at length about this in her book Molecules of Emotion where she discusses the connection between our mind/emotions and our bodies.)
In essence, feeling is healing.
The thing to remember is you can’t only be open to feel some emotions, like the nice pretty happy ones. Feeling emotions is like a faucet; the tap is either turned on or off. And if it is on you can’t filter out what gets through. I’d rather be a fully turned on women that allows all of who she is out then a turned off tap that is closed and suppressed.
Wherever you are on the spectrum, it is probably safe to say that there are ways in which you can bring more light and space to the way you express your feelings. I am also certain that we can all do a bit more affirmative action for our less loved darker feelings.
Next time you get angry follow the thought and find out what it might be trying to tell you. What is the hidden message behind your upset, your rage or frustration that may be trying to squeeze through the tears, yelling and stomping? What is your rage trying to tell you? Perhaps it is time to start speaking up and setting clear boundaries? Maybe your anger wants you to allow yourself to let go and ask for help? Maybe there is a mountain of pain that needs to be healed?
If we don’t let them up and out we won’t be able to hear the silent pleas and messages. Yes it can be messy and sometimes it means having to buy a can of paint to redo the ceiling, but these messages allow us to hear the deep transmissions from our Capital ‘S’ Self and find out what it is that we really need to look at both in ourselves and in our relationships. Anger can and is, my best friend, I love her. Sure she isn’t always socially acceptable or the most politically correct but she is incredibly smart and she is all mine. I could not live without her, and in fact I wouldn’t want to.