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Many of us avoid anger, believing it reflects poorly on our character. And though this emotion can cause physical and emotional pain, it can also be a worthy ally. It shows up to tell us when a circumstance isn’t honoring our spirit. It asks us to set new, uncomfortable boundaries. It’s a road sign to guide us and help us take care of ourselves.

For some, it’s a persistent, stormy presence in our life. We don’t recognize the message it’s bringing us, so we try to rein in. We try to manage it, compress it, ignore it… and then it becomes a dark cloud casting shadows on everything we do.

Others don’t recognize this empowering ally when shows up to support us. Women often cry when they bump into angry feelings. Instead of being able to tap into this empowering energy, they feel vulnerability in the swirl of emotions they can’t articulate.

Anger can be an elusive, frightening emotion. Growing up, I witnessed it blowing up without apparent reason. I saw it used to terrify, abuse, and cower. It soaked into the fabric of my family until it dampened even the sunniest moments.

I grew up believing anger was a malignancy to be avoided at all costs. Though I couldn’t stop it in others, I became a powerful sheriff arresting any lawless anger that threatened to escape in my own reactions. I learned how to capture it and put it away.

I completely shut down this emotion not realizing it’s essential when we want to embrace our authentic self. That it’s a self-awareness gift when we learn how to express anger in ways that honor our relationships. That it’s a protective energy as we find ways to explore and express what makes us unique.

Whether you have to dig deep to find your anger or simply acknowledge what has been dogging you for years, seeing anger as an empowering energy will change your life. Knowing it won’t harm those you love if you use it as a compass rather than a whip will open up new paths to your dreams. Trusting it to guide your choices will protect you.

For some people, anger becomes a dark, uncontrollable force, but that doesn’t need to be your story. It’s not a reason to reject what can be a friendly energy. Invite yourself to become acquainted with this very natural, necessary emotion. Travel toward it, so you can embrace its empowering possibilities. Recognize it can look like a friendly force.

Jeanne McElvaney ~ Author and Energy Guide

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