I feel angry. Glorious, full-bodied rage.
Every inch of me pulsates with passion and electricity. I feel brazen, voluptuous and alive in my body.
I am real. Free. Powerful.
And then reality hits. I am terrified. Terrified of the raw power born of my anger; terrified of the intimacy of sharing all of me, my anger in particular.
For most of my life, I’ve told myself that my anger is too frightening to unleash in my relationships; that “all of me” is too much. I’ve feared I would bulldoze through life, ripping large trees from the ground as I raped and pillaged the earth; scared I’d take more than my fair share, more than my carefully- portioned slice of life.
Instead I trained others to see me as a nice girl, a kind refuge. I expressed few needs, no demands, only accommodations. While no one emotion defines me, the more I shoved anger down into various nether-regions of my being, the more I became a prisoner to it.
I was convinced I could not be compassionate, kind and loving as well as angry, powerful and strong. One or the other. Choose, damnit.
And I did choose. For years I chose to stay safe and small and in control. I chose to rage at myself instead of owning my power in the world. Chose to believe my anger made me unlovable. Disposable. Unwanted.
Worse yet, I chose to believe my anger would hurt others; elicit derision and hatred while frightening animals and young children.
I am slowly, imperfectly learning to make different choices.
I have learned to express my anger with and at my husband. He has been a loving witness, and this intimacy often brings us closer. I express my anger with and at my daughters. While I’m not clear of the outcome, our relationships for now are strong and real. They are experiencing an authentic mom: human, flawed and ever-changing.
While I’ve been willing to risk expressing anger with my husband and children, until recently I rarely brought my anger to any other relationships. Again, I’m slowly making different choices. Now that I’ve tasted this untapped power, my soul wants more.
I want to live, to soar, to feel worthy of my spot in this world without apologies. I want my daughters to learn from me how to walk through life unafraid of setting boundaries, being authentic, owning their power. And I’m terrified.
Terrified and willing; willing to try out new behaviors and gradually show the people in my life a more complete picture of me – drop by drop. Slowly the colors of me are coming into view.
I am living through the backlash of loved ones feeling hurt or angry with me. My relationships at times feel out of control, messy, unsettled.
My new choices don’t feel better yet. I trust they will. For you see, I am learning that there is no such thing as too much me.