The Righteousness of Anger
This past week, I had three different people ask me to talk about anger. My Aries moon was thrilled because for the first time in my life I felt at peace with the anger that was in me. For so long, I divorced myself from anger and prided myself on it.
Flash back to when I was in college, hair a million different colors, push-up bra tightly laced, rocking platform snow boots and a leather jacket on the coldest winter day of the year. It had been years since I had felt anger, maybe in fear of not being loved in that state, or maybe because I couldn’t deal with the drama of it. But I was in a situation where I was really, really, angry. So I called one of my very first spiritual teachers. I was in the car in the parking lot, ranting about the situation I was in, when she cut me off and said, “Honey — we gotta do something about that temper.”
Temper? Me? Ms Love and Light? I felt a hot panic rise up my chest and into my throat.
My teacher went on to tell me that my anger was the reason why the California wildfires were happening. That my anger was impacting the Earth in this negative way and had no place in this world.
This, my love, was one of the most toxic messages I have ever been gifted. I say gifted because it showed me this huge plot hole in so many spiritual movements. We are human, we are primal. We cannot separate ourselves from our human nature. At the end of the day, I needed to be angry. I was in an unsafe situation that required me to take action, and the only way I could do that was to feel rage. And when I brought it to someone I trusted, I was shamed for feeling this instinctual, vital human emotion.
So, now, I felt angry. I felt shamed. I felt angry for being angry and shame for that anger on top of feeling anger for my teacher and shame for feeling that too. Jeez. You get the idea. In a world of humanity, anger is one of the most precious gifts we could have when we use it correctly and not try and stuff it away in fear.
So many times, anger can feel unsafe to feel and express. Especially with this spiritual movement of strictly thinking positively and not allowing yourself to feel. So it sits inside and rots, and leaks out like a ripped trash bag on a New York City Street on passers by. Yet so many of us never speak it. Never let it out. Just suppress, ignore, or even worse, somehow convolute the anger into some mixture of self-doubt and fear and turn it on ourselves.
After this conversation, I pretended that my anger didn’t exist. I tried to divorce myself from every aspect of anger, but still felt it in the pit of my being — an unexpressed heat that was building up like magma.
See, the thing is, it came out in gossip, it came out in seething poems to God, it came out when I would drive (still guilty of this one), and it came out when any little thing went wrong, like not having the brand of seltzer I liked at the supermarket. It leaked everywhere and on everyone. Until one day, I read about Kali Ma, the Hindu goddess of divine feminine rage, and my life was forever changed. This Goddess, tongue out and thirsty for blood, was birthed after a demon could not be defeated. So Kali came and devoured him whole, saving humanity. Her anger actually saved the Earth. Go figure. A far cry from what my teacher said.
She taught me that there is genuine power in anger. What I refused to see was the divine righteousness of anger, the personal power that could bellow out of me when I channeled it into healthy rage and expressed it. The difference between rage and outrage, primal power and leaky energy.
So many times, when we don’t want to feel something, it is us blocking ourselves from our own power. These emotions supercharge us and get us to an unbreakable truth. The universe responds to truth. Truth is divinity. And if your truth is anger, good. Change is about to transpire.
So, if you are feeling anger in your life, and you feel it leaking or coming out in passive aggressive ways, do a ritual for healthy expression of anger. I set the scene with candles and music. I was alone. And I punched pillows, I kicked in the air, I screamed into my bedding, I ripped up paper and danced wildly. That got me out of it and actually to a place of peace.
Anger is one of the most spiritual forces on this plane. And expressing it this way was an act of communion with the divine. So, my love, give yourself permission to feel it all. Tend to your fire, let it burn out of you.