The other day I talked about feeling anger and getting in touch with your inner child. You may be wondering what one has to do with the other. Well it turns out that our inner child has many different characteristics…remember, this is a “child” we are talking about here. Similar to our adult selves, there is an angry side within our inner child that, if you’re anything like me, has most likely been silenced. This “Angry Inner Child” is no less Divine than the Inner Child, it’s just a part of her.
“If we were not allowed to express our anger in safe ways, if anger was forbidden or considered dangerous, then our Angry Child probably went underground (Capacchione, 1991).”
Through a series of creative exercises in the Recovery of your Inner Child book I mentioned the other day, I got in touch with that Angry Child within. (These exercises included an “angry dance,” which I’m sure was pretty hilarious to watch). Without getting into specifics, I realized that I had a simple, basic view about anger:
ANGER = LOSS
When I did my inner child work and got in touch with my Angry Inner child, I received a surprising, yet simple, basic message from her in response to my beliefs on anger:
ANGER = FREEDOM
As I mentioned before, where there’s anger, there’s usually fear…or vice versa. I had this experience on Wednesday. I had applied for a grant that I had hoped would help me continue with my school work once my federal student loans max out by the beginning of summer term. I believed I had a very good chance of getting this grant. But I got notification on Wednesday that I did not get it. Once I got the notification, I was angry. My project was worthy, the grant committee just didn’t have enough funds to extend to EVERYONE. But why was I the one who got shut out?!
My anger quickly turned to fear. Fear that I will not be able to find enough funds to finish school and my degree I have worked so hard on. What will my mom think? What will my friends and associates think of me? Everyone will think I’m a loser!
Then back to anger. Part of me wants to abandon my work. What’s the point of this if I may not finish it? Maybe I should begin to withdraw from it now, just in case I have to let it go…it will hurt less, right? I should abandon my work before it abandons me. Right now I feel like throwing my dissertation along with my laptop in Lake Michigan!
It shows a lot of psychological progress for me to admit the truth about this as well as to take time to feel the feelings of anger and fear. Usually, my response to any kind of rejection is to skip over the anger and shut down…or do something ridiculous or unhealthy as a way to “react” to the situation. But getting my fear and anger out actually frees me to move forward and work on a “NEXT” strategy.
ANGER = FREEDOM
By the way, I haven’t thrown either my laptop or my dissertation in Lake Michigan…yet.
- Capacchione, L. (1991). Recovery of your inner child: the highly acclaimed method for liberating your inner self. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.