I saw a screening of Suffragette at Colorado University here in Boulder co-hosted by The Woman’s Network. I experienced a flood of emotions, memories, and gratitude for the brave people who saw a dream on the horizon and pushed towards it.
I was startled at the realization that it hasn’t been that long since women have had similar rights as men (I say similar because this is far from over given recent debates over women’s rights to make decisions about our own bodies…)
I also thought about the idea of an “angry feminist” and how I’m sure many people will see the women in Suffragette as just that. However, I saw these wise ancestors as deeply tapped into their desire and clarity. Thank god they wanted more. Thank god they felt it was possible.
I’ve been exploring desire as the antidote to and as the true message of anger.
I feel strongly that women, in particular, are in need of repairing our relationship to anger due to the life-giving and motivating quality that anger can produce when it is used skillfully.
In my life, anger has been a crucial ally in my recovery from an eating disorder, leaving jobs that weren’t fulfilling, and ending relationships that needed ending. Anger is vital and it became my life-force in coming home to my soul. It cuts through illusions, which is not always comfortable…Yet anger continues to show me where I hold lies about women, about my life, and how to show up in the world. I feel more connected to myself, my emotions, and my role in this world as a result of cultivating reverence for my own anger. I have deep respect for women who do the same because I know they are awake and not afraid to see what anger is revealing about their desire.
Anger is our internal message that a boundary has been crossed and/or that a need has not been met. Kind of interesting that women are often encouraged to tamp down anger…
Anger is a sword of truth that cuts through bullshit. As women, it’s not uncommon to hold the old dictates to not be angry, that it’s not becoming. Or that you’re just causing a fuss. It’s just PMS. And the most insidious of all, “Why can’t you just let it go?”
Think of how different the world would be if our ancestors did just let it go…
The problem with bypassing anger, with focusing on how to let it go instead of listening to it, is that we miss the jewels of wisdom within this vital human emotion. One might think that this signpost on our path would be hard to miss, but when we are spending so much time trying to be “fine”, it’s actually quite easy to let anger fester instead of move, teach, and heal.
Anger is the portal to the heart of desire. The flames of anger burn away what is under-nourishing, what needs to die, and if we allow the journey into the wisdom of our anger we will hear, “I want…”. …this voice whispers with the clarity of truth and weight of wisdom from deep in our bellies.
This morning I’m sitting with the gratitude for all the people who listened to the wisdom of anger, the pulse of desire, the idea that things could be different. I’m so grateful for the women who were not afraid to look “just angry” or “crazy” or “wild”. I’m so grateful for the ones who saw the possibility, not the probability, of something changing for the better and actually did something about it.
I’m eager to hear our stories about anger. Please share.
Photo credit: dontcatchafallingknife.tumblr.com