I am angry about something. It’s something that it makes sense to me that I would be angry about, something I can’t change or influence, something that I believe is counter-productive or destructive. The question: “Is it really accurate that I can’t change or influence this in any way” is always a fair question. In this case, the answer is something like “Maybe but not really or not easily, not enough that trying to effect change is an effective way to be with my anger.”
How do I avoid aggression, avoid collapsing into helplessness, avoid checking out, remain connected with myself, feel and know that I am worthy of better than this, remain connected with the other players in the situation, hold compassion, care, love, and respect, while I keep the heat in my chest and belly that tells me that it is a GOOD thing for me to want and stand for a life that works for me?
I want a life that is not full of pain and frustration. That is the message of the heat in my chest. But my life has always been full of pain and frustration, best I can tell since before I was born. So that message is accustomed to the experience of calling out into a void, of nothing coming back, nothing changing. Empty longings that have to be buried in order to not be torturous.
I want a life that is not full of pain and frustration. From a prolonged experience of stress and trauma, it’s not uncommon for one’s aspirations to be focused on the negative: I want to not suffer. New age thinking, which I believe is backed by some solid stuff, tells us that it does not work to declare “I want to not suffer.” Instead I need to reframe this into a positive statement – what DO I want? What do I want in place of suffering?
OK, so I am going to do an experiment. I am going to articulate several statements of wanting that are unedited declarations of how I want to not suffer. [I listed several statements which are personal, but all more or less in the form of: “I want to not have experiences that suck.”] What happens as I articulate those thoughts is that I feel a dark energy, oppressive, unhappy, dank, like a sub-basement dungeon.
I could transform each statement into a statement of the positive things I DO want. BUT what if that sub-basement dungeon represents something real – in my memories, emotions, or nervous system – something that, if I divert to the positive, just continues to be there even as I may feel lighter in the moment? Instead of moving to the positive, how about if I connect to this dark place, while also keeping an active witness who is aware that I AM ACTUALLY SAFE and ok in present time and space?
Self-processing: I feel pressure in my cheeks. A shudder. Pressure on top of my head, weighing down. Pressure all through my head, pressing in, out, all directions, pushing, pushing, pushing. It’s all in my head – darkness, pain, pressure.
I’m hanging out, noticing the pain and pressure. Is there anything the pressure wants to do? Is there any action latent in these sensations? Yes! I want to jump up, I want to fight, to escape, to destroy everything. Can I notice any particular part of my body where the potential for these physical actions takes form? Like yesterday, I feel heat in my arms. My arms want to pull my body up. I wonder if it is a crib memory – that would make sense with the urge to pull up.
Feeling the urge in my arms to pull myself up. What would I do after I pulled myself up? I want to take a flame-thrower or a sci-fi weapon and aim in in all directions around me, decimating everything that I can see, and then before I burn, a bird or an aircraft or a large kind human would lift me up and carry me to someplace far away where everything is different. That is what I want.
Wow. Wow. That’s a lot and it totally makes sense.
So after hanging out with those thoughts and sensations, where am I compared to where I started? I’m reviewing my wants: I want to not have experiences that suck. I’m not relating to those thoughts right now.
Instead I feel a lot of positive energy in my body! I want to be safe, I want to be able to impact the course of my life, I want to feel good! By going into the darkness, the negative wishes turned into positives all my themselves.
How do I keep this energy with me? How do I connect to others from this place? I will continue working on that.