Anger, as I keep saying, is merely a call to action. Yes, it can mask other emotions, and it’s still a call to action. You can channel the passion and energy of your anger into empowered forward motion. Fear, on the other hand, is a call to inaction; when you are in fear, anxiety, or trauma trance, you are incapable of acting effectively in your life; everything becomes a binary choice, and you are easily controlled (trauma trance is the fugue we go into when an old trauma is triggered). You can choose, it just takes some practice.
First of all, learn to recognize the symptoms of trauma trance, anxiety, and fear:
In addition, there are going to be physical symptoms, somewhat unique to you and based on the chemical reaction, that will help you identify when it’s starting so you can shift it. The easiest way to find those sensations is to remember the last time you were triggered, and bring your attention into your body – where does the sensation of triggered seem to be centered? Is the feeling hot or cold? Tight or loose? Smooth or prickly? Steady or throbbing? Does it feel empty or full? Don’t interpret or analyze, just identify. Do this exercise with other instances of being in fear or triggered, so you can compare each instance and find the commonalities; do it often enough so it becomes second nature to recognize the sensations. Your head will not be able to tell you when you’re getting triggered, but your body can.
This exercise will also help you to defuse the triggers, by allowing you to process in your body, rather than trying to do it in your head. When a fear is brought up, and you go into the sensations of it, continually pulling your attention back to the physical sensations until they have subsided, you are taking your control back; the chemical reaction behind the emotion will also dissipate faster. By staying out of the thoughts, which are likely to keep going, you just don’t have to pay attention to them, you neutralize whatever caused the fear reaction in the first place – it’s no longer good or bad, it just is. Once the chemical reaction is gone, your mind will be clear and you can make better decisions more quickly, and because the originating event is neutralized, it becomes easier to act to change it, if that is what needs to happen.
Anger, on the other hand, has a different dynamic to it. We are taught as children to either suppress it or exhibit it with violence (depending on the proclivities of our caregivers). But in a vacuum, anger is merely a call to action, a push or surge of energy. If we don’t know that, we don’t know what to do with it. We don’t know how to channel the energy into getting things done, into the courage to speak up, or into breaking through emotional or spiritual blocks. We don’t know how to ask what the next appropriate action is. If we fear our own anger, on some level we fear being powerful, and this can lead to rage, which is disempowering. When we fear the anger of others, we actually fear how anger is expressed.
If anger is a call to action, we need to figure out what action we are being called to. If the anger is masking a fear, it is vital that we identify the fear. Make a list of the things you fear, write it down somewhere and carry it around with you so that the next time you are angry, you can look at the list and see if that’s what’s going on. Fear exists in the darkness – start to identify it and it will have less power over you. If you know what your anger is really telling you, you will better know what to do with that information. Anger, when acknowledged, is only frightening to those who don’t want change to occur.
I leave you with words that I channeled in 2014, that ring more true than ever:
As we have told you before, everyone in a given situation is blessed, whether they be victim, perpetrator, or witness. This is certainly the case here. What you are witnessing, once again, is an opportunity for the human race to come together as one and step away from the illusion of separation, to actively choose to heal cultural wounds, and for each person to reach their hand out to another and let them know they matter.This is done by insisting on change, by speaking out and letting yourselves be powerful, rather than powerless. The speaking out needs to be done by both people who feel they have no voice and people who know that they do. This is done by acknowledging the humanity of every person you encounter, and treating them with respect. This is done by owning your wounds and acknowledging theirs, both of the personal and cultural variety. It needs to be done in spite of the persons of supposed authority, who keep their “power” by keeping others off balance. It is they who have no wish for people to have humanity. Do not let them define you. Reach out, listen to what people have to say, hear them to the best of your ability. Ask questions. Have conversations. Be respectful of their experience and yours. But do not assume you are powerless. Change happens when supposedly powerless people rise up and force those around them to hear them, when people who have supposed power speak up for the people who feel powerless, and when injustice is no longer something people will put up with.
You are powerful. Each and every one of you. Stop allowing people to tell you you’re not. The tide is coming back in, and change is surging. Pray for change, allow for change, work for change. The status quo works for a very small number of people. Even some who have that privilege aren’t really happy with it.
Now is the time for change. Make it happen by moving toward change. Know that those around you are deserving of humanity and treat them accordingly. Stop letting fear define you, stop letting fear define them.
May you be the light of the world!