Wise Anger, Intelligent Despair

As with most people, not all my emotions are equally welcome in my everyday life. I have done (and continue to do!) a lot of work in this arena, but the truth is that  I grew up in a household more comfortable with anger than sadness, so it is on ongoing practice for me to affirm the power of vulnerability. 

To allow all our emotions, especially the ones that feel messy, is the work of being whole and access to sharing your unique brilliance. 

Which of your emotions are embraced and expressed easily, and which are pushed down and away? How is your relationship to anger? Longing? Frustration? Desire? 

A client named Lauren came to me for support finding work that tapped into her creative talents without sacrificing financial stability. Her current job (and most everything else in her life) was “fine!” She was uncomfortable with of any sort of complaining and thus was unable to fully acknowledge the extent of her unhappiness in her current position or her huge desire for more self-expression. In Lauren’s world, gratitude, tenacity, and contentment were welcome, but angst, disappointment, and fear were not.

Coaching was a safe place for her to get in touch with some of her more uncomfortable feelings. Fully feeling the impact of what was missing from her life created the motivation to claim what she truly desired. Uncovering her hidden fears freed her up to make new choices and take bold actions.

In the end, Lauren created a new position for herself that celebrated her creative talents and exceeded her prior salary. She got what she wanted, and she received from our work together what she needed, which was to more authentically show up for herself. As Brene Brown wrote, “We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”

In Lauren’s own words, “it takes so much energy to avoid feeling the fear, and it doesn’t work for me anyway!” She learned to recognize her own frustration and anger, and the urge to stuff those feelings down. She learned that when she didn’t allow her emotions to be felt, they often showed up in sneaky ways such as illness or anger at loved ones. Through our work, she learned how to welcome and invite wisdom from each emotion without letting it drive the bus.

Are you someone who holds yourself to strict standards for which parts of you get to be seen and known? If you can’t see it for yourself, another great place to look is towards the people who bug you the most; what is it about the way they show up that you can’t stand? Those really annoying/needy/aggressive/self-centered (etc.) people can provide a mirror into parts of ourselves that we wish weren’t so.

If you find yourself ignoring or denying the anger, sadness or other “negative” emotions in your life, this is a big wake-up call. Those feelings are your inner guidance, letting you know that something is off-course in your life. I provide a safe place to explore what you’re feeling and why, so you can move forward in your life with greater satisfaction and accomplishment, just like Lauren did. Email me and we’ll find a time to continue this conversation.

XoX Gwenn