As I go deeper into understanding my emotional signature, I understand more of my favorite movie as a kid. “Why are you so venom and mean?” The Princess Bride will always be one of my most favorite movies for the magical lines of wisdom scattered throughout. It is time for us all to collectively peel off the anger and walk with it for a while. Why are we so venom and mean? Ultimately it is because we are hurting. We are all separate and more alone now than ever. Computers and phones are fast replacing our real-time friends. But now more than ever the importance of self-reflection before lashing out is paramount as face to face time grows less in our computer age.
My journey to understand my emotional reactions stems from my desire to be a healthy role model for my children. I wish for them to have the tools to fly out from my nest and navigate the rocky terrain. I hope to be able to show them that hurts do not have to be permanent damage. My goal is to become well and have tools to process emotions so that I can teach them to do the same for themselves.
My family unit was broken as a child because my parents were broken. Lash outs were pretty constant and the fear of being yelled was ever present and shaped how I stepped out into the world. My father was never really seen by his father who was angry and lashed out at him often. My father did the same and hated himself for it. My mother was distant as I became a teenager, consumed by her unhappiness and feeling alone. Tools to process emotions were not very available, but luckily I had no access to drugs or alcohol. I just surrounded myself with good friends. Once I was out in college my motivation slipped. I saw people who were so present and happy and comfortable with everyone. They were magical. I wondered how they stepped out into the world that way. What was their magic? Hunch-punch? That beer? I tried it all on a quest to be the magical person who could captivate others…and then I learned to love me.
Self-love was there for certain parts of myself. My smile, long hair, my love of glitter and all things colorful, helped me to feel certain of my value being somewhere in the middle. The “bad” parts of me I tried to exercise or exorcise away…until I met my husband. He helped me to love all of me. And then we had children.
A whole new level-up occurred in self-discovery. The ages of my daughter helped me to realize the ages of myself that I judged the most as “bad” truly started at age 8. I found myself angry at her without any justification. I found myself judging her and saying things that I would never want to say…until I sat with that anger and judgement. Where did it come from? I looked deep at myself and saw it all came from me and how I hated those awkward stages-in myself. I released my mom from resentment for not being the loving guide to hand me all the tools I needed (who can really do that anyway?) and I learned how to do it for myself. I visited all my younger selves and showered them in love as I looked back at those awkward moments…and I healed.
Now I look at anytime I feel anger as an opportunity for self discovery. It truly is peeling the layers of an onion, (my oldest daughter is 10, I can’t wait to see what age 14 will push forward for me to heal-insert scared face here). Recently I was trying understand why I’d get so angry when cooking dinner in the kitchen. My husband prefers to be alone cooking but I get angry. In comes the realization I want to spend time with my girls and resent them being off in la la land with their screen. I want to be included. But not inside. Inside is my kryptonite after working in an office all day.
So now, sometimes, my daughter makes sandwiches while I get the campfire going outside. Sometimes I am OK with peanut butter and jelly for dinner. Sometimes I just need to let go of judgement and let it all go as we spend time in the yard. Outside is where I can feel balanced and free. I am working hard to be as present and honest as I can be in order to help my kids grow in a balanced way to step out into the world whole. Sometimes I just have to go outside and let it all go…and now I understand the beauty of the simple sayings.
I challenge all of you to dig deep when you get angry and look at what you are hiding. Take your anger for a walk outside and see to what it is you need revisit with love and say “as you wish” because really, all we need is love…self-love is all we need.