Gain Confidence: From Anger to Fear, Feel Your FeelingsAug 09, 2023
Storytime with Kate
Part of what My Self Study Practice has taught me over the years is what, explicitly, am I feeling. The specificity of knowing how I feel has helped me actually feel my feelings instead of reacting to them and letting them hijack my behavior.
This feels really empowering ✨
My 20s felt like I time where I got in touch with my anger. I started feeling it, expressing it, being honest about it, and telling her truth.
I'm passionate about the freedom that's possible when we get in touch with our anger. Especially for those of us who have been taught to suppress it when we feel it towards others, and turn it in our ourselves instead.
My anger kept me feeling lonely in my relationships, and just generally as a person, because the things that I was angry about, weren't things that I knew how to share with others. I'd judge myself for being unreasonable, mean, or sensitive. I'd tell myself I must not have understood it, or that I wasn't being compassionate enough towards the other person. Or I'd say, "other people have it so much worse" or "it's always been this way so there's nothing I can do about it - no point in being angry!" or "there's something under anger like sadness - you must not be being vulnerable enough in order to get there."
Growing up, I was taught to have those judgments and fears towards my anger. And yes, I've been angry about that. I've blamed the systems, my parents, my culture, the other people who told me that... the messengers.
AND ultimately, I'm an adult now :) So are you. We have no control over what happened to us growing up and we can't go back and not take in the messages that we internalized. As adults, we no longer have to judge ourselves harshly like that - but because NOT choosing that judgment is a new skill, it takes work. New neural-pathways. New forms of self-care when those judgments come up.
A main one for me? Telling my friends and my therapist... 🦋 letting people in.
What I know now is my compassion includes anger. Mine, and yours. As my client, your anger is welcome and loved. And sometimes, the vulnerable thing to share is the anger.
*and ps. here's your permission slip to not always be vulnerable. Instead, be discerning. Who and where is going to hold your anger with respect and dignity?
Suppressing anger, or not being honest when you feel it, keeps us mad. That makes us behave in ways that don't serve us: we try to control other people and their beliefs and opinions, we start thinking that no one else will do it right so we just do it ourselves, we start cutting people out because we think they'll never get there... and wow what a cycle of our unexpressed anger keeping us lonely and that loneliness making us angry in return.
Loneliness means that something's off. Loneliness has a need. And that need is connection. And for connection to take place, we have to let people in 🪞
I think my 30s might be a time where I'm getting more in touch with my fear.
I feel fear a lot more viscerally than I have before. I find myself knowing when I feel threatened and the way that makes me want to bounce and puff out my chest to seem bigger. I feel embarrassed and self-conscious and the way that makes me feel physically small, unsure, and like I want to tell a lie.
I find myself missing that Angry Kate in her 20s. She felt so clear. So directional. So fire-forward. In a way, she felt so safe.
Because I feel a little bit afraid a lot of the time, I also feel more in touch with my courage.
I'm asking courageous questions and telling courageous truths about myself - I know it's courage because I feel afraid to say it but I do it because I know that it's better for me when I do.
My anger helped me feel bold, capable, and responsible. This fear is helping me connect, relax, and surprisingly, feel more confident.
All those years I spent learning how to be kind towards my anger are paying off - I feel more in touch with my inner self, the part that's kind and compassionate and secure. I feel safer in my body.
Safe enough to feel afraid. Safe enough to do it anyway. Safe enough to share with you in an email, that I feel afraid... like, regularly.
What I'm enjoying about noticing when I feel afraid, is that it's also showing me when I feel safe. And that safety hasn't been coming in the absence of fear, it's come in the togetherness of it. I can feel the safety, when I can feel the courage.
Here's to feeling confident and afraid ✨
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