I've been working through "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron again. This week, I've been reading Chapter 3 ~ anger. If I could say something about my anger, I'd say 2 things:
1) When I was younger (as in young adult), it would be bubbling and boiling beneath the surface and come out too quickly in unexpected and inappropriate ways directed to innocent people, and
2) As I got older, I didn't express it quick enough and it would broil until anger released in more drastic ways and often in a not helpful timing.
In 1), I would lash out at my young children and take my hurts out on them.
In 2), I would put up with mistreatment in relationships, not address it promptly, and blow up after holding it in too long.
Sometimes it's hard to manage emotions. Do you ever feel this way? Have there been times when you just suck up or suppress some hurtful feeling and push on through? Then, at other times you melt down and cry or lash out over just about anything? Yep, me too.
When I was younger, I felt stuck and confused about who I was and what I wanted. When I became older, I felt guilty about the anger of my past, so I tried to reel it in completely.
As I aged, I also had the tendency to force myself to get over things I wasn't ready to get over. I thought I "should" be more spiritually evolved. Have you ever forced yourself out of a negative emotion before you were ready?
Of course, getting unstuck is the plan. But that can become more pressure on you > that you need to "zip-adee-doo-dah" get over it!
If you feel stuck in anger or sadness or jealousy or anxiety or fear or frustration... could you stop pressuring yourself to move on too soon? Instead, could you be with yourself and practice more self-care?
Making the choice to care more for yourself when you're stuck in negative emotions can make a huge positive difference.
What self-care can you try if you're stuck in anger for example?
If you overreact to situations and need to chill out, you could:
1) Take a walk quickly and in nature if possible, or
2) Listen to a song you love that feels upbeat or peaceful, or
3) Journal or call a safe person to share how you feel and what you want to say or do, but likely shouldn't!
If you under-react to situations and need to heat up more quickly, you could:
1) Not let much time lapse before you say how you feel and what you need ~ directly to the person you are upset with, or
2) Schedule a therapy session to build more confidence and communication skills, or
3) Make a list of the ways remaining silent is compromising your well being.
Staying stuck in negative emotions can be a dangerous vortex, so you don't want to stay there too long. But pressuring yourself to get over things too quickly isn't always helpful either. Coming into balance is a great vision to move toward. If you are stuck, self-care is a great "go-to." And, then there's a new "S" word in your life >>> "Serene!"