I started two posts this week. Both sit unfinished. That’s what happens when you lay on a table and Melissa works her magic.
I had been thinking about her often last week. So, it came as no surprise that she showed up in Sonoma, coming out from the east to find a home. She, like many of us, has been drawn to Northern California to start a new chapter in her fascinating story. We shared a wonderful dinner (christening my wooden tortilla press – I will never buy tortillas again) on Saturday, after a walk on the beach in Bolinas. And then, two days later, I was in the prone position while she massaged my chakras and looked deep in my soul.
You’re holding onto anger in your left hip and shoulder.
But I’m not angry.
Well, you should be.
And you are.
Great, just like The Genius – another person telling me I’m angry. But in this case, there’s no hidden agenda or projection.
This anger isn’t about him, it’s about you. Anger is not bad. Not acknowledging it is. Not letting it speak is. Pushing it down and burying it is. Don’t judge yourself or the emotion. It’s there for a reason. If you knew what that reason was, what would it be?
I love it when she asks questions like that. You HAVE to answer them. You can’t say, I don’t know because she will come back with, Well, if you did know?
I could be angry about being betrayed, but it doesn’t feel like anger anymore. It feels like a wound. A scarring wound that will, over time, become less visible but never go away. I could be angry about having four years of my life taken from me, changing forever how I view the little dude’s infancy and early childhood. But I’m so grateful for the way this experience has changed me and made me a better Mom. And I’m free of a man who would choose deceit over honesty, betraying the woman who stood by him for over 15 years.
Sure, it’s brutal. Hard. My life was spun like a top and no one told me to hold on. Eventually I got a handle, gained a clue or two and kept moving forward, because a dark corner and a vat of chocolate peanut butter ice cream was only going to leave me fat and crying. It wasn’t the end of my world, just a major shift. Nothing is ever as good or as bad as it seems. Buck up! Smile! Look for the magic!
But just don’t forget about that anger lingering in your hip and shoulder.
Before I could drive back to Marin from Sonoma I had to walk on the earth. I was, in Melissa’s words, All liquidy – you need to get on the planet and ground. I felt looped. Two margaritas on an empty stomach looped – with Grand Marnier floaters. I went in to the session wanting to talk about fear – fear of success, fear of love, fear of not providing a happy childhood for the dudes. I wanted to understand why we’ve replaced the fear of a saber-toothed tiger with fears that are infinitely more complex. Fears that linger for days, weeks, years, whereas a saber-toothed tiger arrives, kills and moves on.
We ended up talking about anger. And how we label emotions as good or bad, when they are really interchangeable. She urged me to remove the label and let emotions just be colors (not her words, but it’s how I felt the message). And that words can complicate matters. (My beloved words!) Letting anger out in sounds removes the mind from the process, allowing the emotions to flow free.
(As an aside, the first time I went to a group session – a conscious breathing session, which is AMAZING – I had one eye closed and the other staring around at people grunting and huffing and puffing. I couldn’t wait for it to end. Type A sales person, gots to go, stuff to do…what’s a chakra? Whether you believe there are energy centers in your body that you can open and close or not, I can guarantee you that after an hour of conscious breathing you will be open to finding out.)
As I walked on the streets of Sonoma I thought about the tall dude getting angry at the little dude for asking him inane questions. (Yes, at seven he used the word inane.) His face was red, his cheeks pulled back to make room for his scowl. I intervened.
Why are you so angry? Just ignore it. It’s not that big of a deal.
Ouch. It is to him.
I discounted his emotion. I made it seem like it was bad. That it wasn’t warranted. I made him push it down, hide it because it wasn’t acceptable. In that moment I taught him that his anger, the way he was feeling, was wrong.
Am I doing the same thing to myself?
Since Monday I’ve been pondering anger – my anger, the anger that seems to flow around this world like a jet stream, causing people to implode, bombs to explode and dis-ease to flourish. On the drive over the rolling, emerald hills of Marin I excavated. While folding laundry and killing mice (sorry, those have to go – it pains me to do it, but there doesn’t seem to be an alternative.), combing spiders out of my hair – I am not kidding you, and hiking the trails along the cliffs that boarder the sea, I asked and quizzed and devil’s advocated myself into a tizz. If it’s there I sure don’t want to ignore it.
Am I angry?
Yes. I thought about attaching it to a scale of 1-10, but anger is anger. It’s neither good nor bad, nor quantifiable. Anger at a person or a situation is an invitation to get to know myself better. It might be a tight little ball hunkering down in my hip joint, or a full blown rage that erupts without warning. Quiet, simmering anger and outrage both come from the same little seed hiding in fertile soil somewhere inside. Instead of starving it, I’ve decided to water that sapling and let it bear fruit.
The first two fell today.
The dudes want to know when The Genius and I are getting back together, and the car dealer wants a divorce decree and six months of cancelled alimony checks before he’ll finance a car purchase.
And that is exactly why I’m angry.
So I’ve decided to do something about it and it involves a pre-nup.
PS: This post was written doubled over. I’m blaming an overindulgence in kale. Normally I’d keep going, but Part Two will need to wait. I’m hopeful that in the words we will find ways to embrace anger. I’m certain that many kittens know exactly how to tame this wild beast without robbing it of its spirit or life.
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