I just finished my second therapy session last night. You're probably thinking, "Gary, you're obviously nuts, why would you be in therapy?" The reason I'm there is because I'm being completely serious, and sincere, about my evolving consciousness, and private therapy is one more way to look at the things about me I'm not seeing. It's part of my intention to try to live and embody an integral life....not a lifestyle, but an integral life.
Wilber sez that our shadows are the single most important thing about us inhibiting our growth and transformation. So, if I'm to be truly committed to consciously facilitating my own evolution, I have no choice but to try and reveal, and face, my shadows.
BIG MIND has a strong shadow component that allows us to safely confront our shadows by asking the various archetypes within us for permission to confront these shadow elements, and to let go of them. I can't recommend this process strongly enough. This is a process that has the power to change the world. Get to a seminar, get a DVD, the ILP Home study Kit (Big Mind is a module within it), or download it off Integral Naked, but get it.
Back to my therapist: He asked what I get a angry about , and, of course, I replied, I don't get angry (Hoo-boy, some shadow there!). Turns out we meant different things. When I think of anger, I think about the person who blows up with their anger, who completely loses it, loses control, strikes out, breaks things, or people. It's ugly, it's explosive, and it's violent. We all know people who do that. That's not me! I don't act like that!
But I do get pissed-off!
Using that definition, I don't get angry. I was viewing anger as an attack, rather than an attempt at contact. My therapist has correctly pointed out that anger is attached to aliveness and creativity, and that to repress it is to deaden those areas of ourselves. But I've discovered I'm not deadening or supressing my anger, I'm just calling it "being pissed-off."
I'm also seeing my anger is showing up as a way of saying, "I don't want any barriers between us," rather than an expression of wanting to hurt someone, and in that sense, my anger is healthy. It is healthy because it inspires a desire to want to change things rather than to break or destroy them.
Our anger can be a call for our passions to "come alive" with conscious awareness, energy, and implementation, and can give birth to new ways of looking at how to live, and love, in meaningful, productive, and sacred ways. Many of us have the capacity to choose that path as a result of the things that anger us.
I'm going to give a couple of examples of how anger can do that over one or two upcoming posts. I know when I can have an impact on the things that make me angry, and when I can't. When I can't, I can recognize and accept my anger, knowing I can't change things, and be willing to make a conscious decision to walk away. letting go of my anger. I also know when I might be able to make a meaningful difference, and harvest my anger to a useful, higher purpose, letting my anger, and my passion, drive me to effect those changes.
For the video blog on this subject, click here