I sat with my anger long enough, until she told me her real name was grief. 

I sat with my anger long enough, until she told me her real name was grief. 

Written by Kerryelle Bucknell

This quote really resonates with me as I uncover another layer of myself...  why do I feel anger? (you could insert any other emotion here...  hurt, disappointment, happiness, sadness) Is it really the emotion manifesting, or am I sitting at the surface of the real reasons I feel a certain way? 

Anger without true investigation of its origins is particularly insidious, it has the potential to make us bitter and hard, to create walls, we think to protect us, but ultimately they isolate us 🤔 and holding on to anger like a barrier, a shield around is, it is like taking poison and expecting someone else to be hurt by it. All we ultimately do is hurt ourselves, mentally and over time, we manifest physical ailments as we push down and suppress the emotions in our bodies - we create dis-ease.   

Tara Brach (she is amazing, highly highly recommend looking her up) talks about conflict and suggests as we feel anger coming up that we ask ourselves 'what need within me is unmet at this time that I am feeling anger?'. And, I have found this is such a powerful practice that allows me to see when I am attaching my needs and expectations to a situation and handing over the self responsibility for my own happiness to another.

She has a beautiful way of breaking this down... when we are in conflict - we are in a trance. The aperture of our mind narrows and what we are seeing is not the whole person, we are seeing through a filter of 'what they're are doing wrong in relation to our particular needs', we are forgetting who they are. In that trance, we use a different part of our brain (the primitive part) that stops us living from the wholeness of our being, from our heart space. 

The frailty of the human condition means that consciously or unconsciously, we are going to hurt people with our actions and more often than not, our reactions. A couple of weeks ago I left Sydney after 24 years of being there... I had a two year stint when my Dad was sick where I left part time but this is the first time I have committed to actually leaving and these big changes invariably bring big stuff up for us. Every unhealed part of our psyche suddenly demands attention, with urgency. Couple that with some life changing yoga training with Shiva Rea which facilitated a huge cracking open of my heart space (ahh the transformational power of yoga - but that is another post!) , walking away for a third time from a "relationship" that I can now see was a mirror of my abandonment wound and we have the perfect (shit!) storm for heavy energy - yayyy ha ha.

Yet in that heavy space, there has been opportunity... 

The whole process has been such a mirror and an uncovering of just how deep the wound is of losing my Dad to suicide. Of looking beneath my reactions to situations and really trying to see what the unmet need in myself is. 

I don't have all the answers to heal this, yet I know until I do, I will continue to attract the same into my life - those unable to love because they cannot love themselves. So as I sit with this, I am using a Buddhist practice and saying to myself, 'may this serve the awakening of compassion, of wisdom...' and I hope to build my capacity to respond to whatever is going on, from my intelligence and from my heart, not from my primitive brain. To find the space, the pause before reacting. I'm also using another mantra from Tara Brach... 

I am not dependent on what you do to be okay within myself. I am 100% responsible for taking care of the woundedness within myself... 

I think this point is so very important, to own our self responsibility in each situation. People will never behave the way we expect them to, so when we are setting expectations in our own minds on others behaviour, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment, for reactivity. 

So my invitation to anyone reading this, is to just let this sit in the back of your mind, become the observer of your thoughts and reactions and see what insights you can uncover about yourself. What needs in you are unmet? 

Clare Lovelace