I had a conversation with my therapist about anger the other day. I was in the midst of recognizing and attempting to process very big feelings, attempting to understand, and over thinking instead. She said to me that oftentimes the reason people have big anger, and therefore cannot harness it properly, is because it's exacerbated by grief. I looked at her and said "I cry too much already. I spent almost all of last week crying. I have work to do." She said to me that spending an hour or even two in the mornings, to really process grief will be beneficial to me, and reduce my reactivity. And then I remembered.
I had made a daily practice of somatic movement and breathing, followed by gentle yoga, meditation and prayers. Oftentimes my body would release energy and stuck emotions. Most of the time it was grief, and she was right. I was less reactive and more centered afterward. So, I followed through on re-starting my daily practice, and when my grief came up, I observed it, I asked it why it was there, and what it had to teach me. This is what came up.
Why do the judgements of others hurt so much? How do I judge myself?
The judgements of others hurts because it brings to my awareness the ways in which I judge myself unfairly, but ignore. They also bring to my awareness my deepest fears, touching on some of my oldest wounding.
This most painful rejection came from those I trusted, respected, and held in high esteem, and it was the most painful because I am still looking for validation from authority figures. The catch here, is that I'm 42 and an adult, but I don't "feel" like I adult very well.
I was robbed of a "normal" happy, healthy childhood. I'm still holding onto the need to be loved and approved of by a "grown-up". Grown up meaning someone who I see as better than me, bigger than me, wiser than me etc. But I need to be my own authority figure. In order to do that, I need to learn to trust myself enough to be the authority figure I have needed, and have already been for so long. I need to be the loving, stable parent that I so desperately needed as a child. In order for me to be able to do that, I need to let go of attachment to the many mistakes that I made when I was younger. I have to forgive myself, knowing that I have done everything I can to outgrow the me that lived out of my wounding. I cannot go back and change anything, and carrying all of this judgement of myself is not serving my highest good. I continue to do the work of exploring, learning, growing, maturing, and developing more "wise mind, and that is all the control I have.
A popular phrase is "I'm not my past.", but I call bullshit on that. I am a culmination of the entirety of my life thus far. From my genetics to my personality, everything good and bad that I have experienced, abundance and struggle. And if I am to be whole, authentic and vibrant, I must accept and integrate it all. My pain does define me, as does my joy, pleasure, growth and light. As long as I continue to beat myself up I remain a victim. I have to forgive myself in order to love myself fully. So, I'm doing that now.
Rumors are an opportunity to ask myself "Is this a belief about myself, that I carry?" If yes, then I can discover why and let it go. If not, then then I can rejoice in that, and let it go. Either way, shit can be gold if you know how to work it. I know who I am, more and more; and more and more I fall in love with all of me.