“The mark of a healthy healing . . . of core psycho-spiritual qualities such as anger, assertiveness, control, boundaries, freedom, critical thinking, emotional nourishment, and all the ingredients of what makes us whole, is when we can express these to meet our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs . . .” – J A Weber
Our wholeness is our joy, our thriving, our passion, our enjoyment of and creative service to life. Yet, we lose essential aspects of our wholeness in ways that we would least expect. Here I will discuss how denial and hurtful experiences work together to stymie our experience of thriving.
When we are hurt by others, we will often disavow (reject) in ourselves the qualities that hurt us, until we heal that wound. For example, if I have been hurt by another’s anger, I might vow not to be angry and thereby deny anger in myself. But, when I deny my anger, I also deny the ways it can be used to help and to protect myself and others. These life-affirming “ways” I call the vital qualities embedded in an emotion or experience.
The vital qualities associated with anger include assertiveness, courage, appropriate control of one’s world, an ability to establish healthy “boundaries,” to say “no,” to speak up for ourselves, the ability to effect change, as well fight against injustice in the world. When we deny anger in ourselves, we often will also deny these positive, life-giving, vital qualities that the collective energy of anger embraces. In other words, we throw the vitality-rich “babies” out with the hurtful “bathwater” of anger.
When I deny anger, its power becomes part of my shadow self, and remains unusable. When I have shunned anger, not only do I miss out on anger’s assets, but this denied anger will often act out unconsciously and violently, hurting others and myself, and diminishing love in the world. When I reclaim and work through anger’s shadow and reclaim its vital qualities I increase my capacity to feel love and to act kindly. Continue reading “Denial – Its Secret Dangers”