Inner Work with Steli Efti
055: Ok, now I'm punching pillows (Anger management adventures)
One of the emotions I still haven't found a good way to relate to is my anger. For most of my adult life, my way of handling anger was simply to suppress it and pretend it didn't exist at all. Getting angry meant that someone else had power over me, someone else was able to control and impact me—and I didn't want to allow and admit that. So I pretended to never get angry—not only to others, but to myself as well.
Now there are blessings in disguise, and there's also such a thing as a curse in disguise. I'm great at sales. The downside of that is that I'm also great at selling myself stuff. In this case, the believe that I'm not angry. It wasn't only that I pretended to not be angry to others, I made myself belief to not be angry.
But you know how it goes with emotions: If you suppress them, whatever they're meant to express comes out in other ways. In my case, it's a what I call my OLD TESTAMENT JAW. My jaw becomes very tense. Painfully tense. Out of control tense.
I'm a big believer that our body can be a great source of wisdom and insight. And so I figured this tension is trying to tell me something. I spent around two painful hours trying to listen to what it had to say—and eventually (re-)learned an important lesson (that I had conveniently forgotten).
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