Rage, especially now, in this most crucial of times, is the most important emotion to heal. And yet, rage is one of the most misunderstood emotions. Rage, in a healed state, is always appropriate. It can help protect us and help move us out of situations that don't feel good. It carries our ability to say "no". Rage isn't perhaps the right word here, however, because in its origins, and in a healed state, rage is not rage. It grows from a seed of anger, which is usually in response to being hurt or frightened or neglected. If the anger is allowed to express naturally and do its job, it never grows to rage or worse, to hatred.
|WHAT IS RAGE "EXPRESSION"?|
When we say rage "expression", we do not mean words. We do not even mean expressing rage TO or AT another person. It is not usually necessary to express your rage to the person who enrages you in order to get it healed. We are not healing rage when we scream in someone's face. We are not healing rage when we use angry words in a scathing email. We are not healing rage when we pound a pillow, or beat something with a bat.
Physical activity can cause a small amount of energy release that will dissipate the surface layers of rage. But, by themselves, words and screaming and pounding are only skimming the surface of the feelings. The energy released through these activities doesn't reach down to the deepest levels of the rage that needs healing. And they are more often merely an "acting out" of the true feeling, and therefore, not healing at all. In order to get to deep and lasting healing of rage, we must get to ignition.
What is Ignition?
Ignition is the key, ignition is the goal. And ignition means angry tears.
Most adults believe that crying is only for expressing grief. Many people seem to think that pounding and screaming are the truest and deepest expressions of rage. That is simply not true.
Find an infant and spend several days with him/her. Watch and listen. You will see how rage gets expressed when there are no words. There will be screaming, yes. And physical movement, gyrations, fists pounding, face red, etc. And there will be tears.
The key here is to focus on feeling the FEELING, on finding the deep-down, raw feelings of rage and letting them express in the most natural and primal way. Once you reach ignition, what you do will be spontaneous and appropriate. You may find yourself crying "I hate you!" and pounding a pillow at the same time, but it won't be forced or contrived.
Pounding and screaming can be useful tools to get you to ignition, as described in the first step of emotional healing. For those who have heavy restrictions against noise or being out of control, these can be useful ways of breaking through the resistance walls. But the only reason to continue any behavior is to get yourself triggered to the deeper levels of rage healing, to bring up the angry tears. That is the goal. And if your frenzy of physical activity never brings you to ignition, then you need to try something else. Do not be fooled into thinking you're doing all that can be done, just by pounding or screaming.
Don't Restrict or Predict
An infant doesn't draw lines around his/her feelings. A baby doesn't try to separate anger from hurt from hunger from fear. It all flows out naturally, often intermingling and intertwined. But adults will try to protect the powerful feeling of rage, by isolating rage from hurt or terror or heartbreak. Babies know no such distinctions. They feel it all, and they cry it all.
If you say to yourself, "today I need to work on my rage..." you may limit the feeling that needs to express. It's not wrong to have a goal in mind, but the feelings hiding just on the other side of the veil of your unconscious may not be what your conscious mind thinks they are. And rage tries to stay isolated because that keeps it feeling powerful. Rage hates to feel afraid and powerless. So it's important to let go, once you reach ignition, to let the feelings flow as THEY want to. You may find yourself screaming wordlessly into a pillow, and then sobbing grief, and then sobbing anger, and then screaming some more. The feelings will flow naturally and spontaneously, as long as you let them.
That's your guideline. Become as a little child. Let it flow out of you naturally. Without words. Even without action. Our bodies know how to do this process naturally. As adults, we must re-learn. We must remember. When rage says it must use words, it lies. Words are not necessary at all. Watch the babies, and re-learn how to let your feelings flow.
|When Others Are Raging At You|
When we're faced with an angry person, we usually get immediately triggered into something of our own. We've all been raged at from childhood on, and we all have plenty of emotional baggage stored in our attics that cause us to have some kind of knee-jerk, unconscious response to being raged at.
What that response is will vary, depending our basic makeup. Yin polar people will more naturally back away or try to placate the person. Heart Processors will often try to stay present and open and loving toward the raging person, and sometimes let themselves be victims because they feel it's the "loving" thing to do. Yang polar people are more likely to bristle, and rise to fight back. A highly spiritual Mental Processor may pull themselves up into a calm, superior (controlled) place, and hold themselves aloof and unaffected. (You can be pretty sure that somewhere inside there is some other emotional response that they are hiding or suppressing!)
But our responses are also highly colored by our soul history and childhood experiences. A person who has received a lot of verbal or physical abuse will find themselves reliving old days and may respond as if the anger in front of them is the same anger they received at the age of 2. That inner 2-year old may be terrified beyond being able to think. They may see a red bull charging at them, and respond as if their lives are being threatened, when in reality, the NOW may not truly be as frightening or dangerous as old fears say they are.
Whether or not you can allow another person to rage at you verbally is entirely a personal preference and desire. But before you can truly know what you prefer and desire, you must deal with all your own backlog, and all your old responses will be brought into the present. When you no longer respond to a present raging person from old pain, then you will know what you want, and you can make a choice to stay, leave, speak, laugh, whatever, from your healed soul, who truly knows what is best in any situation.
My Choice / My responsibility ...
If you blast me with hurtful insults and screaming my heart will feel the stabbing wound. I can cry that hurt, but that does not mean I give you full permission to hurt me again here and now, over and over again, with your blaming rage. I commit to crying all the hurts that happened to me in the past, but I do not agree to allow someone to continue to hurt me in the present. Personally, I believe we should be focusing on healing the old hurts as much as possible, without inflicting new hurts. That is a choice that each person must make, a balance each person must find within themselves.
There is no rule. There is no right or wrong. There is only choice. And there is no reason to allow another person to rage at you verbally if it doesn't feel good to you.
But we must also take responsibility for our own stuff. The first thing we must always do is cry our own response to the raging. A person raging at you is a wonderful trigger, and a wonderful opportunity to see where your own stuff still hides. Some of those old fears may never get triggered, except in situations where someone rages at you. So use each and every situation as an opportunity for healing. However, do not require yourself to stay in the situation, or take someone's rage pounding on you emotionally or verbally or physically.
What you must know is that if the other person never cries their rage, it will not fully heal. Their verbal or physical blasts will dissipate the surface energy for a short time, and then the deep backlog will begin to build again and push its way to the surface for another "blast".
This does not mean that you make it your job to tell them what to heal or how. It is each person's responsibility to deal with their own stuff. But knowing that the person is crying their rage means a great deal to me in my dealings with them. If a person cries their rage with me, I will listen, I will hold the space open for them to express within, and I will give that expression full acceptance. As long and as deeply as needed. But if the person is only verbally bashing or attacking me, I don't require myself to sit and hold space for that.
|When You Want To Rage At Others|
Do They Deserve My Backlog?
It's important to remember that none of us is without emotional backlog. That may seem to be an obvious statement, but it's critical to remember when dealing with other people and rage expression. You may find yourself triggered by something a person says or does, but your reaction carries the weight of years and lifetimes of backlogged rage. Is it fair to throw the full weight of that baggage at the person in front of you? Rage will always say yes. And sometimes justice says yes, it's fair, especially if you're facing someone who abused, neglected or abandoned you. But no matter how much you want to blast them and punish them with the full force of all your pent up rage, try to remember that the goal here is healing, not revenge.
Another important thing to remember is how hurtful it is to be the brunt of someone's blasting rage. When you're IN your rage, it's hard to remember what it's like to be in your soft heart. And blaming rage really doesn't care. Blaming rage believes it has the right to blast down others, regardless of their feelings. Blaming rage and tender heart need to cry together and come back together. Fragmented and alone from each other, they are incomplete.
The most important thing to know about rage is that it has been in a state of denial for so long that it is laced through and through with unloving light. I do not mean that rage itself is unloving or bad. Rage is a vital part of us, we need anger in our lives. But at the present time, unloving energy has control of almost all the rage that is still in denial.
What does that mean?
It means that rage will demand to be allowed to blast and act out. Rage will say it has to use hurtful words in order to express. Rage will push, and self-justify, and demand to be allowed to call names and hurl insults and yell sarcastic personal remarks. Rage insists that THAT is the only way it can get true expression. But the truth is, rage does not know itself. Rage only sees the long years of suppression and compression. Rage only sees its own "rightness". Rage does not care if it hurts others, in fact it WANTS to hurt somebody. Rage feels justified in hurting others. Where rage is unhealed, it has no heart. That's not wrong. It's the unfortunate result of living with the "pressions" - compression, suppression, repression, etc. Rage needs to come out of the attic and be allowed expression so it can breathe and heal and gain some heartfulness. But at the beginning of this process, know that rage is still very much a toddler in its own healing.
There is, then, a need to be somewhat parental to rage, as much as possible.
What does that mean?
Suppose you had an angry two-year-old on your hands... suppose she began hitting everyone in sight, biting and kicking and scratching you and everyone within reach. Would you allow that to continue? Setting aside the many cultural restrictions and judgments, knowing that anger is ok to feel and express ... it's the parent's responsibility to contain the toddler, realizing that the toddler cannot stop herself from lashing out, and to find ways to allow expression that doesn't harm others.
Rage certainly must be allowed to move. Compressed and suppressed rage causes all kinds of problems in our bodies, and in the world, and can do great harm in a state of denial. But to allow it to express wherever IT says it must, and HOWEVER it says it must, is a mistake.
This is an important point. Because of the influence of unloving light, rage expression that begins by blasting outwardly rarely reaches ignition. That is because the unloving light has an agenda of a) keeping true release from happening, and b) doing as much damage to others as possible along the way, thereby perpetuating the rage in the world and causing a lot of people who start on this path to doubt its validity.
It's important to stop pretending to get to the feelings, to understand the difference between acting out and really healing the feelings. As long as you act them out, and believe that it's doing you some good, you'll never try to reach beneath the surface.
And the world needs us to get beneath the surface to really healing it!!! Look around you, look at the rage being acted out all around you! There is very little difference between the energy that blasts and kills, and the energy that blasts and calls names. It's just a matter of degree. Both are rage ACTING OUT, taking action, instead of really being released and healed through rageful tears.
Once you start really crying your rage, you will be able to pull back in to yourselves the pieces of your rage that you have denied. Those pieces that are outside of you, outside your control, outside your love. They act out wildly, blindly raging. They LONG for your acceptance. They ACHE for expression. They continue to act out because it's the only outlet they have, but, it's not true release. Like an addiction, they'll need more and more, the level of violence and acting out will grow and grow.
|When You Can't Find Your Rage|
For many of us, just connecting with our feelings of rage is a huge undertaking. We have been conditioned, programmed, and punished out of our feelings of rage. There are enormous judgments against rage as a "bad" feeling, a destructive force, something to be got rid of in favor of the more placid and loving feelings. But rage in an unhealed state can do enormous damage.
Suppressed rage becomes compressed. The energy charge builds and builds. There is no way to hold this energy charge unmoving without something being damaged. Unmoving rage can turn inward and act on the self as a self-hate pattern in disguise. It can cause illnesses and problems in the body, such as skin eruptions and rashes, or ulcers, headaches and migraines, and possibly even cancers.
Rage can be so heavily suppressed as to be entirely forgotten. In these cases, rage can become severe depression. Taken to the next further extreme, the parts of the self that feel enraged can actually be pushed out of our consciousness to the point of fragmenting. When a part is fragmented from us, it is still connected to us and can affect our lives, but this fragmented rage may find ways to express itself through others raging AT us. It may be difficult to face a raging person and see your own rage in their eyes, but this is often the case. Owning and crying your own rage will dissipate the energy charge in others, at least it will de-fuel some of their attacks. They will still have their own rage to deal with perhaps, but they won't be fueled by your rage.
The first step in any healing is to set the intention to heal. You must find in yourself the DESIRE to accept all your parts, to accept your rage, even if it feels awful to you. You may first have to cry through parts of yourself that are afraid of your rage. Mind may need to cry through its fear of being out of control in rage. Heart may need to cry through the fear of being unloving, and of being judged as unloving. As these judgments and hard places heal, you will be able to open more truly to allowing your rage to come in and express. You can call to your parts from your intention and desire. They are connected to you by a thread that will vibrate with your call, vibrate from your desire to heal, and your lost essence will hear the call and be drawn to you irresistably.
There will be many resistances along the way. Resistance can be very tricksy to overcome. If you're having trouble getting to tears, you might need to try some helpful techniques to get around your own resistance. Rage itself will contribute to your resistance. Rage will try to convince you that screaming is all it needs, or pounding. Rage will resist crying. This is because when it cries, rage feels its own helplessness.
And of course, there are other elements at play that do not want us to heal our rage. Unhealed rage makes for a yummy treat to those who feed off denied energy. We call these entities The Gamers. These Gamers watch for opportunities to provoke our secret rages and fears, and they love to impulse us to argue and fight. The more we argue and fight and bash each other, the more denied rage energy is generated, like a cloud above our heads being scooped up by the Gamers.
If we stop interacting, if we stop engaging in the fight and take our rage to angry tears, there is no more compressed energy for the Gamers to feed on. So that is our best possibility for healing not only ourselves, but the hatred and warring going on in the world. There is no other way to truly heal. There is no treaty, no negotiation, no political situation that will heal our world. Hatred will exist as a tool for the Gamers to provoke into war, until we take charge of this rage in ourselves and let it fully express to healing.
Rage & Dark Consciousness - Musing
The Growth of Rage - Poem