Grief has been a topic more people are willing to talk about. From Pixar's movie "Inside Out" to Beyonce's new album "Lemonade," the taboo of talking openly about pain and sadness is being shattered as we speak.
But what about anger? That negative emotion that fuels acts of aggression and even violence? Is anger considered a healthy emotion or is it something that we need to acknowledge, but quickly quash?
Today that's been a question I've been wondering about following this post about healing following miscarriage. Before I go much further, I need to emphasize that I have a lot of respect and admiration for both Danny and Mara and the work they do. The are one of my many examples I point to of people who are living full lives following trauma, particularly that of infertility. I also respect where Danny is going with his post today. This idea that it is possible to come out on the other side of loss and find happiness again. But where I was given pause when he talked about experiencing negative emotions following loss. Particularly with anger.
The idea of anger being a bad or immoral emotion isn't a new one to me. I've struggled with guilt for many years over feeling surges of anger. I internalized a lot of self-criticism about these surges, assuming that something was wrong with me for feeling this way or that somehow I was flawed in my perceptions of the world. Following my diagnosis with infertility and then my miscarriages and failed treatments, these feelings of guilt only intensified following pregnancy announcements of friends and family. I literally entered one of the darkest periods of my life where I hit bottom.
One thing David and Dee helped me confront was this guilt over feeling anger. Embracing my anger and allowing me to work through its roots. There were so many sessions in therapy spent learning it was okay to feel the emotions I was feeling. That only by doing so could I actually begin to heal properly and fully. That there could be resolution.
Still, it left me wondering, why is this fear around anger? Why is this emotion so taboo for so many?
Lori had a post recently that has had me thinking more deeply about this as she explores the importance of struggling and anti-coddling. There's so much good material in this post, especially for someone who is interested in education. But in relation to anger, it got me thinking that the resistance we feel towards anger may also have its roots in sheltering. After all, anger can be a frightening emotion.
Overall, I do think Danny and I have a similar outlook on unresolved anger that turns into bitterness and jealousy. It results in the wound becoming infected and without proper care can have long-lasting if not life-altering affects. Still, I wonder whether we need to reassess how we view anger. That maybe, like pain, it's actually a gift even if nobody wants it.
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