As we stare into the abyss that surrounds our culture of competition, it is easy to see the intense frustrations that arise when we start to face the anger that seems to be bubbling at the surface. Intense topics of this world, such as political affiliation, vaccination, birth, education, and animal rights all bring to the surface its own storm of agenda that looks to be controlled by the masses. These types of frustrations create an anger that can make you feel crazy.
Simply said, anger is uncomfortable; this is why we usually try to push it down, down, down.
I am not a pioneer, nor am I the first person to feel frustration that comes from what is commonly known as the rat race. In fact, there are hundreds of thousands of people who live off-grid or in communities that separate themselves because they could no longer live with these indoctrinated values. I see the greatness in this decision to just forgo it all, but I also see such grace and opportunity from being authentic in a world that wants you to be "one size fits all."
So the question is how do we start to move away from frustration and/or anger?
Have an open mind
First, have an open mind that requires you to be brave with this process of looking at life from a different perspective. Truly having an open mind means that you are willing to look at a topic or situation from all sides without being boxed into a position that you are "fighting" to believe. This is why I love the story of science. A good scientist is always trying to find new evidence that will prove a new theory. It really is that simple, but how can you embrace new evidence if you are fighting to keep an old belief? You can’t!
I have a great deal of compassion for this path, as it isn’t easy. People tend to get very angry when they are defending their territory, when they are trying to control the essence of what they believe holds their world together. Unfortunately, this combination leads to a lot of debating, which is a waste of time. Proving that one is right and another is wrong just keeps us treading and never progressing.
When someone starts a conversation with are you a Democrat or a Republican? I know this is the inlet to a debate. If you have an open mind, how can you truly label yourself as one or the other? I find that my beliefs fall all over the place. So I have made a conscious choice to move away from these types of conversations, as they are a waste of everyone’s sweet present moment. Just being conscious that you do not want to debate, argue, or be disrespectful to another is a great reason to not engage, and it is your choice.
Always Ask questions
When we first begin to break away from the "pack," it isn’t an easy journey. It is like walking through a dense forest that has no path. We have to use all the tools we have to even see a few feet in front of us, so it can feel very overwhelming. This is where having an open mind and understanding that we are not meant to do this alone becomes very clear. It is very important to keep asking yourself questions that lead you on an exploration of truth.
I recently spoke to a mom who shared a very interesting story regarding her decision to have a homebirth after a very intense hospital birth. She went to a mom’s group and was pregnant with her second child. She shared that she was having a homebirth and many of the moms instantly got very defensive, turning it into a hospital vs homebirth debate.
However, within that sea of moms who were not willing to listen to the "why" was one mom who slowly approached to hear her journey. What happened during your first birth? How did you learn about homebirth? These types of questions led this open-minded momma to have a very conscious birth, free of intervention, in a hospital. Just by sharing information, wisdom, and experiences, this mom helped another mom have a great experience. As moms we should all come together to support each other and share experiences. Instead, it seems that we just further the divide.
Sitting with anger
Sometimes we do not understand where anger or an intense feeling may be coming from, so it is important to just breathe and observe. You can use a number of tools to breathe it out or simply sit with it till the emotion has subsided and then ask where did the anger come from?
Be open to having a conversation with your anger as if it’s a person. You may hear an answer or you may not. Either way, being present instead of pushing or controlling is important. Remember that within our darkness we are the light. Use this light to explore the darkest areas of your being, as there are a lot of great lessons and wisdom!
As we express gratitude for the beautiful lessons we learn, it is important to observe the things that bring us great frustration and great anger as well. It is so easy to just push away the intensities of life because it just doesn’t feel good. Exploring our frustration and anger is very uncomfortable as it is uncontrollable, a wild animal ready to pounce. However, there is a very important treasure just waiting to be found.