Is anger a catalyst for change?
When I thought about tackling this subject, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about anger. It only occurred to me recently that when I feel anger begin to surface I feel a sense of self-loathing, like I haven’t worked through all of my shit and that I’m supposed to have it together by now. I always envied people who seemed to contain their emotions well and I still feel myself striving to reach that kind of self-control.
I’ve always had this idea that anger is an emotion that needs to be wrung out like a wet towel. That if you put enough work into truly understanding what the root cause of this feeling is, you can address this aspect of your own temperament. But even with all of the work and healing, I can’t seem to curb it. I’ve learnt that anger is a natural emotion and will inevitably surface.
‘Evolving stages of personal growth’
After carefully exploring the intricacies of anger, I arrived at the opinion that it can be a necessary part of fuelling change. I came to this conclusion by taking a microscope to my own journey with mental health; the first part of that being depression. Within depression, it’s like you’re paralysed, the energy is dormant. I remember many nights where I suffered from insomnia; I would get up in the middle of the night to clean my room profusely just to stop the business of my mind telling me I wasn’t good enough and the mornings that followed, I struggled to get out of bed to face the day. But when I started to face some of my fears, I found myself moving through that stagnant energy; like settled dust rising up off a grand piano waiting to be played. This started to reveal some of my suppressed traumas and what followed was a lot of fiery emotions and misdirected outbursts in the form of anger.
‘Driven to make change’
As a result of discovering my newfound aggression, I found myself making some changes; mainly about how I wanted to be treated. It also spurred some necessary boundaries that needed to be put in place. This was an important part of helping me re-write the misconceptions I had around my own feelings of disempowerment, some of which were established by my upbringing and some from the ideals put on women in society which is so prevalent in our culture today.
Without feeling anger, I wasn’t able to step into the next phase of my evolution. There are always different levels of emotions and it isn’t realistic to think we are always going to be feeling happy or sad or content. But feelings of anger, if harnessed correctly and digested consciously can be a source of power used to create positive change.
The #metoo movement is an example of how anger can fuel transformation. For decades’ women have felt suppressed and silenced; without the power of choice. When this was finally brought to light (in Hollywood), it birthed a new wave of fury for women and feminists alike; which spurred protests against sexual harassment, that highlighted topics about owning the right to our bodies and our sexuality.
In today’s climate, I feel we need to express our dormant rage in order for change to manifest. Because of anger, we will give the next generation of women a more empowered and freer sense of self.
When anger arises even over something trivial, dig deeper and try to explore what’s propelling your underlying emotion. By taking this step, it has helped me understand myself better, it has helped me understand women on a deeper lever, which has in part inspired the Shape of Eve vision.
Anger, as ugly and uncomfortable as it can be, shines a torch on your subconscious mind. If we can use that as a way to break through and evolve, we can harness this emotion and move in a more positive direction.