Awakening with Amy Robeson

Episode 27: Letting Go of Anger

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Anger is a normal and healthy human emotion, but it’s also an emotion we need to let go of and release. Letting go of anger isn’t always easy. So let’s talk about how to let go of anger, how to forgive someone, how to let go of the past, and bring ourselves back to center to live peaceful and joyful lives!

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LETTING GO OF ANGER

Through all the seasons of our lives, we have the opportunity to express our anger in the immediate situation or to store it up inside ourselves, just waiting to come to the surface at the most inopportune times.

So often when we are expressing our anger, it’s not the present moment that has created that reaction. It’s something we’ve been holding onto for quite some time, and an unrelated situation just brought it all back up to the surface!

So how can we work on letting go of anger more quickly so that it doesn’t build up into an explosion we are left feeling terrible about?

PROCESSING SUPPRESSED ANGER

I'm not sure if it's because I had a baby at the end of 2020 or I'm just entering a new chapter in my life, but I have been processing a lot of suppressed anger. Over the last year, I have been really allowing myself to witness it, to be really honest, raw, and vulnerable about it, and to look at it instead of running from it. The more that I run from it, the more that it is going to present itself at the most inopportune time.

As a kid, I wasn't allowed to express my emotions in a healthy way. I was taught to suppress my anger, to be a good girl, and not speak up. Then, in my previous career, which was a male-dominated industry, expressing anger painted a picture of being overly sensitive or emotional.

So, in this past year, I had to learn how to let go of the past and all the incorrect messages I received surrounding the emotion of anger so I could learn to express and process my anger in a healthy way.

WHAT DOES ANGER LOOK LIKE?

We probably all have a mental picture of what the word “angry” looks like and it probably includes a very loud expression of words or even physical movement that shows us someone is MAD.

My anger showed up as eczema, which means you're irritated and dissatisfied. For me, it was very, very old suppressed anger that was coming through the surface of my skin.

The more that I ignored my anger, the worse my skin would get. I never had acne or any other skin-related issues growing up, so for me to have raw skin was just awful. I had really bad eczema on my hands where I couldn't shake somebody's hand because it felt like someone took a meat pounder to my hand. That's how bad it was. My body was giving me very clear signs that I needed to look at my suppressed anger.

If you think about anger or rage, there is violence behind it. For me, when I thought about rage and anger, I would associate certain behaviors with anger. And since I wasn't behaving that way, how could I be angry?

Since my anger didn’t look a certain way or have me behave a certain way, I was able to more easily delude myself into ignoring that I was, in fact, ANGRY. And I had to learn to let go of anger to reclaim my health, mind, body, and soul. The only way to really heal something is to be willing to “go there.”

HOW TO LET GO OF ANGER WITH AHIMSA

One of the ways that I have been processing my anger is by practicing an ethical code in yoga that is called Ahimsa. Ahimsa means nonviolence, and it's an invitation to bring more compassion into your words, deeds, thoughts, and actions.

If you're wanting to heal your anger or address your anger and let go of it, you have to be willing to look at it. Practicing ahimsa, which is nonviolence and lots of compassion, allows you to start evaluating what is going on on the inside.

This doesn’t mean downplaying your anger. Quite the contrary. It means addressing it authentically. For example, anytime I'm feeling angry, I will acknowledge that I'm feeling angry. I'll say:

"You know what? I am feeling so agitated and I'm feeling so irritated, I can feel my anger boiling to the surface. I'm going to give myself compassion for actually feeling this way at this moment in time."

And the second I give myself compassion, I can feel the agitation in my cells take a breath, and then I can feel myself giving myself permission to witness my anger. When we're angry or when we're in a rage spiral, by giving and practicing ahimsa where you can practice nonviolence towards yourself through your thoughts, words, deeds, and actions, you can start to comb your energy down.

HONESTY WILL LET GO OF ANGER

To heal your anger, you need to acknowledge it. To let go of hate, to let go of disappointment, to learn how to forgive someone or something from your past, you have to be willing to witness your anger.

Start to witness what it is that you're truly angry about. Half the time, what you're angry about is not the thing that just happened. It has to do with something else that's occurred that’s been really suppressed and that very thing that just happened is just bringing that old anger up to the surface for you to look at.

Once you realize what is happening, you can actively start to calm your energy. And then once you have calmed the energy down, you can ask yourself:

  • What am I truly angry about?
  • What is upsetting me?
  • What is disappointing me?
  • What is causing me to feel this way?

And get really, really honest with yourself. While you're doing this, practice ahimsa, which is compassion. Nonviolence. Do not spiral out of what's coming to the surface. Anytime you feel yourself getting out of control, come back to compassion for yourself.

MOVE YOUR BODY TO LET GO OF ANGER

Anger is energy and anytime we feel a negative emotion, moving energies around can be a huge help! Another way to let go of anger and practice ahimsa and compassion is to shake it out. Shake out your body.

After you're done processing it, after you're done thinking and observing your anger, shake your body out. You can take your hands and tap your skin very gently to change the vibration of the cells. You can shake out your arms, shake out your legs, shake out your whole body. You can stomp your feet. That's a great way to help anger get out and to process it in a healthy way.

Moving your body is a great way to help anger get out and to process it in a healthy way.

MORE HEALTHY WAYS TO LET GO OF ANGER

There are so many ways to release pent-up, suppressed, and unacknowledged anger. The most important thing is to do it. Do it in any way that feels good for you!

  • Uncensored Journaling - Get out a notebook and just write. Scribble. Make angry notes. Just let your pen or pencil (or crayon or whatever) release what wants to be released.
  • Write a letter - Writing yourself a love letter and saying goodbye to the anger is an awesome way to release it!
  • Scream - I know that we hold our voices back, and I'm not saying scream at someone. I'm saying scream in a space that allows you. You can scream into a pillow, but scream. Let it out!
  • Burn it - You can uncensor journal out your anger and what you're frustrated about, and then you can burn that journal entry in a fire. Please remember to practice fire safety, but fire never destroys, it transmutes. This is a wonderful practice to use with prayer and intention of letting go of all those emotions.

 

BE KIND TO YOURSELF

This is not a very elegant process. It's not. When you're angry, when you're upset, when you're dissatisfied with something, especially with rage and anger, it is a very, very, very, very messy process. It is okay if it is messy, and it's okay if you are messy in the process of processing your anger as long as you are not taking it out on anyone else.

Always come back to compassion and kindness. I want you to give yourself a lot of compassion because you are important. Let go of your anger so you can make space for something beautiful, for something magnificent. The more that we recognize the things that are buried within us, the more that we can uncover the treasures that want to be embodied within us as well. So we're digging for the things that are ready to be healed so that you can create the life that you truly love and desire.

You deserve to be happy.

If you enjoyed this episode with Amy Robeson, we would love to invite you to check out other inspirational episodes by clicking here. Enjoy!

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Full transcription of the episode:

I'm not sure if it's because I had a baby at the end of 2020 or I'm just entering a new chapter in my life, but I have been processing a lot of suppressed anger, and over the last year, I have been really allowing myself to witness it, to be really honest about it and raw and vulnerable and look at it and not run from it. Because the more that I run from it, the more that it is going to present itself at the most inopportune time. So today I want to talk to you about letting go of anger.

As a kid, I wasn't allowed to express my emotions in a way that was healthy. And so I was taught to suppress my anger, to be a good girl, and not speak up. Working in the previous career that I worked, expressing anger in an unhealthy way, you could be looked at as dumb or stupid because I was a woman in a male-dominated industry or I was being too sensitive or overly emotional. And over the years, I have become very effective in suppressing anger. And recently, a lot of this anger has been coming to the surface. And it's been coming to the surface for quite some time.

It's been coming to the surface since my early 20s because I've had to look at it, and it's come through the surface through different dis-ease within my body. And one of those in my 20s was through eczema. And eczema means you're irritated, you're dissatisfied. But for me, it was very, very old suppressed anger that was coming through the surface, and it was coming through the surface through my skin. And it was like, "Hey, Amy, it's time to look at this. Hey, Amy, you're not getting the picture." And the more that I ignored it, the worse my skin would get. And I never had, like, acne growing up or anything like that. So for me to have raw skin, it was just awful. I had really bad eczema on my hands where I couldn't shake somebody's hand because it was just like if someone even touched it, it felt like someone took a meat pounder to my hand. That's how bad it was.

One of the ways that I have been processing my anger is by practicing an ethical code in yoga that is called ahimsa. And ahimsa means nonviolence, and it's an invitation to bring more compassion into your words, deeds, thoughts, and actions. And if you think about anger or rage, there is a violent behavior that's behind it. And for me, when I thought about rage and I thought about anger, I would take what I associated with anger and how that person would behave. And since I wasn't behaving that way, how could I be angry? So I was very delusional that I was suppressing my anger because my anger wasn't being expressed the way that I saw angry people. And I'm putting that quotation "behave: but that does not mean I was not angry. That does not mean that there wasn't something to look at. And so the only way to really heal something is to be willing to go there.

And so if you're wanting to heal your anger or address your anger and let go of it, you have to be willing to look at it. Practicing ahimsa, which is nonviolence, and lots of compassion, allows you to start evaluating what is going on on the inside. And for me, that was not downplaying my anger. And I was still very compassionate with myself. And I'll give you an example. For me, anytime I'm feeling angry, I will acknowledge that I'm feeling angry. I'll go, "You know what? I am feeling so agitated and I'm healing so irritated, I can feel my anger boiling to the surface. I'm going to give myself compassion for actually feeling this way at this moment in time." And the second I give myself compassion, I can feel the agitation in my cells take a breath, and then I can feel myself giving myself permission to witness my anger. Because when we're angry or when we're in a rage spiral, by giving and practicing ahimsa where you can practice nonviolence towards yourself through your thoughts, through your words, your deeds, your actions, you can start to brush your hair, comb your energy down.

And what I mean by brush the hair is like literally, you're combing your frayed energy, you're frazzled energy and you're combing it, you're stroking it, you're calming it. So you do this by acknowledging it, bringing a lot of love and compassion into it. Then you start to witness what it is that you're truly angry about. Because half the time, what you're angry about is not the very thing that just happened. It has to do with something else that's occurred and it's really suppressed. And that very thing that just happened is just bringing that old anger up to the surface for you to look at.

And for me, after having a baby, there were a lot of old suppressed emotions. I feel like pregnancy just like cracks you open in a completely different way. And no, this episode is not about pregnancy, being pregnant, but it was a result of really looking at some of these old suppressed emotions that I had not really wanted to look at in the past. And for me, that anger was a lot of things that occurred or a lot of things that I was disappointed about that grew into anger. So when you are angry or enraged, you want to bring this compassion in, that you want to comb your energy down.

And then once you comb your energy down, I want you to ask yourself, what am I truly angry about? What am I truly angry about? What is upsetting me? What is disappointing me? What is causing me to feel this way? And get really, really honest with yourself. And while you're doing this, practice ahimsa, which is compassion. Nonviolence. Do not spiral out of what's coming to the surface. Don't spiral. I want to encourage you not to spiral. Anytime you feel yourself getting out of control, come back to compassion.

And it is okay if you all of a sudden recognize that you're out of control and you're spiraling. You go, "Okay, I'm spiraling. Let me take a breath. I'm going to give myself compassion. I'm going to gift myself with compassion right here, right now." And then you comb your hair down again. Comb your energy Allow all the little flyaways of your energies that's flying in all these different directions. You comb it down so that you can come back to center. And every single time you come back to center, gift yourself with compassion.

This is not a very elegant process. It's not. When you're angry, when you're upset, when you're dissatisfied with something, especially with rage and anger, it is a very, very, very, very messy process. And it is okay if it is messy, and it's okay if you are messy in the process of processing your anger. What is not okay is if you take it out on someone else and you act in a violent way. And remember, violence can be done through words. Violence can be done through actions. It does not necessarily have to be physical. And violence might not look the same to you as it has in the past, to what has been violently done to you so remember that it's really important that we process anger in a very different way than has been done to you in the past.

Also, I have found that different types of actions help process anger. One is I'm angry and I will uncensored journal and I will get all this anger out on paper so I can process it in a healthy way. I do talk about uncensored journaling in a different episode. We'll link that episode in the show notes if you want to check that out and learn more about uncensored journaling. I will scribble. I will take a pen and I will scribble my anger out or draw my anger out on paper. This is a really healthy way of releasing it through your pen onto paper so you can process it in a different way. Sometimes we don't have to get into a story to release the anger out of our bodies.

Another way to let go of anger and practice ahimsa and compassion is to shake it out. Shake out your body. After you're done processing it, after you're done thinking and observing your anger, shake your body out. You can take your hands and you can gently take your hands and tap your skin very gently to change the vibration of the cells. You can shake out your arms, shake out your legs, shake out your whole body. You can stomp your feet. That's a great way to help anger get out and to process it in a healthy way.

If you live in an area that has a rage room, this is also really awesome. You can go and break things and allow yourself to release emotions in that way in a rage room. And you might be thinking like, "Amy, doesn't that feed more into the rage?" No, it doesn't, because you're giving yourself a healthy outlet to release it in that container, and it's a safe container to release it. And you're not releasing it on anybody else. You are releasing it in that space for you to acknowledge, hey, this is what's here. This is a part of me and I'm ready to release and I'm ready to let go of it.

Also, writing yourself a love letter and saying goodbye to the anger is also very, very helpful. Another thing that you can do is and this can be done with a pillow, but scream. I know that we hold our voices back, and I'm not saying scream at someone. I'm saying scream in a space that allows you. You can scream into a pillow, but scream. Allow it to come out, bang something.

Give yourself permission to let things out of your body so that they don't percolate to the surface at the most inopportune time or you hurt someone because you're angry and you're not sure why you're angry, but these suppressed emotions coming up and then you end up doing something to another person because you were angry and you didn't really mean to. It was just your way of processing that emotion and they were just in the way. And it sounds cruel, but that happens a lot. That happens a lot in society where we take out frustrations and anger on someone else and it's not their fault. And so if you can find a healthy way to let go of anger, I want to encourage you to do that.

Uncensored journaling is probably the most powerful technique to doing that and always coming back to compassion as well. No matter what technique that you come up with, that you resonate with, I want to encourage you to do some sort of release process that we just talked about. One other process that I do want to share is you can journal out your anger and what you're frustrated about, and then you can burn that journal entry in fire. Now, obviously practice fire safety, but fire never destroys, it transmutes. And so when you get out anything that you're letting go of, and this doesn't necessarily always have to be about anger, but anything that you're letting go of, you can take that entry, throw it into the fire, watch it burn, watch it transmute, watch it transform into something different and then say a prayer.

Always come back to compassion and kindness. Ahimsa, is the very act of giving yourself compassion also giving others compassion as well. if you see someone in a rage spiral or see someone being really angry, stop and just give them compassion. And it doesn't have to be through words, it can just be something like in your heart where you're just like I feel for you, I'm giving you a lot of compassion because there must be something really major that you're processing or going through right now that is causing you to act in such a way, or you went through something major that's causing you to act in such a way. We don't know what other people are going through.

And if someone is having a bad day, give them some grace, give them some love. That does not mean they get to walk all over you. You could still hold boundaries and still be compassionate all at the same time. And most importantly, I want you to give yourself a lot of compassion because you are just as important as that other person on the other end as well. Let go of your anger so you can make space for something beautiful, for something magnificent.

I know for me, as I've been processing some really old emotions, beautiful manifestations have been being blessed to me because I'm making the space for new things, I'm making space for more joy, I'm making space for more ease, I'm making space for more love. And it doesn't have to be a physical thing that's coming into my life, it can be and emotional thing that I'm embodying as well. And so the more that we recognize that things that are buried within us, the more that we can uncover the treasures that want to be embodied within us as well. So we're digging for the things that are ready to be healed so that you can create the life that you truly love and desire. You deserve to be happy, my friend.

I hope that you've enjoyed this episode. I will see you in the next one. Make sure you like and subscribe. Love you guys. Bye.

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