Hi there, since we last connected much has happened – the beginning of a New Year punctured by tragic losses for many families; and the celebrations of new beginnings – life in its many guises continues marching forward.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I wanted to discuss Emotions – in particular “Anger” and the role it plays in our daily lives. Now, realising I would have to introduce a couple of its closely related colleagues – to give a fairer hearing and maybe challenge some of our perceptions, and use in our health and wellbeing.
Each morning when when heading through the City – we pass the imposing structure of Edinburgh Castle – which draws tourists from all continents. Yet, barely merits a glance from local residents.
I imagine the castle guards/sentries down through the ages – standing guard at the castle walls, looking out for danger. Here is our “Anger” sentry ready to act when called upon. Vigilant, highly trained – yet, could be explosive and lead to fury and rage if it was allowed to escalate from an unguarded boundary unable to restore a sense of self.
Our Sentry at the castle walls of our soul – walks and sets secure boundaries – whilst keeping in mind two internal questions: What must be protected? What must be restored? Allows compassion towards oneself and focuses the intensity of anger into out boundary – from which truth can be voiced – without loosing ourselves in hatred/rage and isolation, or lead to apathy; depression; boundary loss or self abandonment.
Here we can act in and from a place of strength – not brutality or passivity – helping to restore healthy boundaries which will protect us and our relationships. This healthy anger gives strength and avoids instant reactions – allows us to speak and act, protect and restore boundaries honourably. By learning to integrate ourselves with attributes of healthy anger support us in achieving secure grounding.
So what of those two colleagues – whereas our Angry sentry looks out to protect from external damage. Its two colleagues Guilt and Shame have their own unique roles to perform – by protecting the internal boundaries, facing inwards towards the main castle of our soul.
These two sentries – are attentive to something broken inside the walls, something we have done – or convinced something is wrong, seeking out atonement, integrity; self respect and behavioural change. Our two sentries hold a further two questions: Who has been hurt? What must be made right?
The Role of Shame and Guilt are key emotions that allows us to become mature, conscious and well regulated people. By helping to monitor and regulate our behaviours; thoughts; emotions and desires.
Without these emotions – one could argue – would lead us to a lack of understanding of self, haunted by behaviour; addictions and compulsions that fuel our indulgences.
This post was inspired by the readings of:
Karla McLaren – “The Language of Emotions” What your feelings are trying to tell you. Lisa Feldman Barrett – “How Emotions are Made” The Secret life of the Brain.