11-27-11 Something which has always frightened me has been my own fire. It’s frightened me, in part because of the various people in my life who at one time or another told me I was too passionate, too intense, or just plain too much. I’ve gotten so used to pushing that intensity down or directing it other places because no one wanted to handle it. But it wasn’t just the intensity. It’s also been the anger. Fire embodied anger for me for a long time, and I’ve never been comfortable with anger, from myself or anyone else.
As I was meditating today Dragon pointed out that fire didn’t have to be any of these things. That the only one who’d perceived it that way had been me, but also I didn’t have to continue perceiving myself in a particular way either. That’s something I’ve been discovering in my relationship with Kat, and also discovering that I am not too much for myself or someone else.
I’ve always been driven by my passion. That can be good or it can be bad. Just depends on what you make of it, but I’m not going to bank the fire of my life or my relationship with fire because of an ill conceived perception. If I hold onto it, I empower it…and if I let it go, I open myself to new possibilities.
12-2-11 The meditations have focused on anger this week. Dragon had me do a history of anger, both in terms of how I’ve seen anger expressed and how I’ve expressed it. When I look at the history of anger, I start with my Dad. With him, anger was always a volcanic eruption. It would build and build up and then one day explode. His anger was always fast and hard, and you never knew what would set him off. Both my step-mom and mom tended to be more passive aggressive in certain ways, though my step mom would also be overly aggressive. She encouraged it in her daughter as well, who learned early on that she could take her anger out on me with no repercussions. What I learned early on was that I had to repress my anger. I wasn’t allowed to show it, and if I did show it, I got disciplined.
Even later on I had experiences where for the most part other people expressed anger, while I kept a lid on it, except for the rare occasions when it’d pop out in a volcano. Consequently my own relationship with my feeling of anger is an uncomfortable one. Even with the internal work I’ve done, I still feel afraid of my own anger. I’ve recently been working on expressing it, and listening to it, instead of repressing it and this seems to help, but learning to listen to an emotion you’ve normally repressed isn’t very easy. Listening to my anger means letting myself be vulnerable to feelings of hurt as well. It’s not that I’m not aware of those feelings, and that I even feel them, but feeling them in conscious conjunction with anger is a whole another experience.
12-5-11 In today’s meditation, Dragon pointed out that anger, for me, seemed to really be about control. specifically not feeling control and wanting control. I think that’s true for me. When I look at the situations in my life a common theme is not feeling like I had control…feeling like I was under someone else’s thumb. And the anger I feel is an anger of not feeling acknowledged. It’s an anger that I haven’t let go, because I’m trying to cling on to some kind of acknowledgement of the hurt I’ve felt. Yet that anger doesn’t give me that acknowledgement. It just ends up being something I stew in.
I’ve come to realize as well that I’ll likely not get the acknowledgement I want from the people who’ve hurt me. and Maybe even if they did, it wouldn’t be enough. It all comes back to holding on to this anger, to this hurt that I’ve felt. Dragon asked me what it would be like to actually let go of that anger, to actually release it, instead of holding onto it and letting it define my identity. I don’t want that anger to identify my identity, but I know why I’ve held onto it so much. For so long, going back to my childhood, holding onto that anger was what got me through difficult situations. They couldn’t take my anger from me, and I could use it to prove they were wrong. That kind of motivation was what kept me going through a lot of hard times. But holding onto it now doesn’t really help. I’m not happy holding on to it. I need to learn to let go.
12-7-11 I allowed myself to articulate my anger, and the underlying feeling of rejection that seems to accompany that anger. It’s not anger toward just one person, but a lifetime of people, who in one way or another showed me that I wasn’t a high or important priority in their lives. Being able to articulate that to Kat, to share that pain and anger helped. The realizations I’ve been having about my anger and the underlying emotional bedrock that supports it shows me how important it is that I finally feel like I am an actual priority to someone. There’s a sense of relief and disbelief.
12-8-11 I always find it fascinating how the experiences in my life fit neatly into the theme I’m working on. Today at my small Business Management class, the instructor brought up the value of changing your stories. He said the stories we tell ourselves set up the scripts and situations we find ourselves in. I certainly know this, but hearing it again today caused me to experience it a different way and apply this idea of rewriting old stories into new ones to some of the stories I have been telling myself as I’ve been working with my anger this month. For example, telling myself a new story of: I am loved, wanted, desired, needed, appreciated, and supported in what I do, and how I choose to do it is a powerful change for me. I hadn’t, until recently, ever really felt supported. Now I do.
12-17-11 Owning my anger, acknowledging and taking responsibility, but also choosing to know I can feel anger. I’ve been thinking about that all week, and how I can own my anger to empower myself. Owning anger isn’t pushing it down. Owning anger, for me, is learning to let go, instead of holding on so tight. I don’t need it to define my identity anymore.
Desire has been coming up a lot as well, which makes sense, given how much fire is associated with desire. I’ve explored desire in other elements, but fire brings its own perspective on desire. Desire has such twists in it. to be desired and to desire. Am I desired for one aspect, or is the desire for the real me?
12-18-11 Sometimes the person I’m the angriest with is myself. I’ve always found it hard to forgive myself for what I consider mistakes. My first marriage is an example of that. I’m angry at myself for staying so long in what was clearly an unhealthy relationship for myself and the ex. The choices I made in that relationship are ones I’ve looked over and questioned, because they were symptomatic of the underlying unhappiness. I’m responsible for staying in that relationship for so long. Still hindsight is 20 20 and as I’ve continued the internal work around that relationship and the choices I made in it, I have to acknowledge that where I am now is not where I was then. I can look back and judge myself or I can look back and see a very fallible person who made very real mistakes and has since learned from those mistakes. I don’t feel the anger often toward myself anymore, but occasionally it still comes up, and tells me I still have healing and forgiveness to do.
12-21-11 The other day Kat and I were having a conversation and she said, “I know you’re angry with me. Let me in.” It took a while, but eventually I told her what I was feeling angry about. It was interesting for me, because even though I knew I felt angry, being so honest about it involved being so vulnerable as well. It was hard to be so vulnerable, but it was also so freeing to tell her how I really felt. So often I’ve held my anger in, until finally its erupted…how much better to simply admit it, and be open about it. As this month ends, I feel more comfortable with my anger, and with what the work with element fire has revealed about it. That’s what the elemental balance work is all about.