In a close relationship, I recently voiced my anger in an assertive and calm way. Afterwards, I noticed the sting of the underlying hurt and disappointment lingered and began to look on the bright side. “Well, at least I don’t have to__________.” As soon as the words passed across my lips, I felt uncomfortable. The things I was looking on the bright side about really weren’t that big of a deal. Yes, they were inconveniences, I was willing to do it before. In that moment, I became aware that I stepped out of being authentic. I was attempting to put on my rose-colored glasses to hide the pain and avoid feeling the v word, vulnerable with being positive rather than fully sitting with it. Looking at the bright side to cope with emotional pain is not entirely a bad thing. It has served me well in the past, however in this moment it wasn’t cutting it. I needed to let this wound air out rather than putting a band-aid on it.
Sometimes you and I need to sit in the pain until it passes and not look at the bright side. Most of my life, I was uncomfortable expressing and voicing my anger. In addition to that, as an empath, I was feeling and absorbing other people’s fears around anger too. I learned that people wanted happy emotions and that is what I gave them. It took me going to my own therapy in my 20’s to connect to what I was feeling and express that. Even though I learned how to express anger in an assertive way, I had a lot of fear around doing it.
What if this person does not like me anymore?
What if this ends the relationship?
Interestingly enough a few friendships and family relationships did end. I learned that a lot of people are uncomfortable with anger and it has nothing to do with me. Their feeling uncomfortable does not mean that I have to stifle my feelings.
I wanted to share this experience to show that being authentic is messy at times and situations can’t be wrapped up with a pretty pink bow saying everything is cool, when it is not. Sometimes being positive does not help ourselves or others but rather blocks the lesson of the moment from being fully absorbed. Those are the times that you need to sit in it and through it to fully learn the wisdom that comes with time.
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