A friend of mine recently asked me about shadow anger. Here is my letter to my friend on the subject of shadow anger.
“I shall write a bit about the use of shadow anger, and how it feels in the body, and then I’ll write about how to turn it into utilitarian anger; how to use anger to protect and heal your life.
In my work with clients I talk about the 6 key emotions (out of 17 emotions) which get deranged into the shadow form of expressing the emotion when the person is retriggered by unresolved traumatic imprints. Trauma evokes guilt and shame. We all get triggered everyday by innumerable events and circumstances. We have spent our lives culturing various set responses to these triggers. Many of our cultured responses do not serve our lives very well.
When people have unresolved (unforgiven) trauma imprinting ( in the cellular subconscious memory) of emotional, physical, and sexual trauma, either of the obvious overt type (like assault) or of the more covert subtle type (like being teased or humiliated or severely scolded), and if we go about with all this memory and reaction patterning, then we will respond to the daily triggers with some form of shadow of 6 key emotions: apathy, grief, fear, desire, anger, and pride.
These 6 emotions are arranged from low energy states to higher and higher energy states. For instance, apathy is low energy when practiced in the shadow. Anger is much higher energy when practiced in the shadow. As you move up from apathy to pride you feel more energy in the body, and the mind is more one-pointed and focused. This is so when the emotion is practiced in both the shadow and in the utilitarian modes.
When we allow ourselves to feel whatever is happening in our bodies, and recognize it, then we can heal it by asking some simple questions of ourselves, and listening to the answer from inside of us. Then we have to trust that answer, and act upon its guidance. Such answers should be cultured to come from the Heart Mind, not the Brain Mind. This will require a stilling of the thought waves of the mind. This is yoga.
To answer your question about shadow anger, it is these kinds of feeling states in the body: abrasive, aggressive, annoyed, argumentative, belligerent, boiling, brooding, caustic, defiant, demanding, destructive, disgust, explosive, fierce, frustrated, fuming, furious, harsh, hatred, hostility, impatience, indignant, irate, jealous, livid, mad, mean, merciless, murderous, outraged, petulant, pushy, rebellious, resentment, resistant, revolted, rude, savage, simmering, sizzling, smoldering, spiteful, steely, stern, stewing, stubborn, sullen, vengeful, vicious, violent, volcanic, wicked, willful.
So– all of those word forms are synonyms for shadow anger, and if we feel those often in the body, we won’t be very happy or feel very good. Psychological and physiological studies show very clearly that such feeling states are harmful to the heart and other body functions.
We feel emotion states in the body, not in our Brain Mind. We think about them in the Brain Mind, and that is usually when the trouble starts, and the physical chaos amplifies.
If we can feel it, then we can heal it.
So, I inventory peoples’ ability to feel the shadow of each of these 6 key emotions. I use a sheet of paper for each of these emotions on which is written about 30-40 synonymous feeling states. The client checks the shadow feeling state which they are familiar with.
After the inventory is done, we discuss what the question is that we must ask of ourselves in order to shift our feeling state from the shadow way of expressing the emotion into the utilitarian way of practicing the emotion. The utilitarian way of expressing the emotion is the correct way of living the emotion. Then it is properly felt and discharged and does not create energetic and cellular chaos in the body.
With shadow anger the question we must ask is, “What is the boundary that must be restored?”
Anger is the emotional tool we all have which allows us to express boundaries in relationships, and boundaries in our internal relationship with self and the ongoing daily sabotage patterns which we visit. In its extreme form, if you are under physical threat, you will express anger as a true fight or flight response to create the boundary needed.
In its more common everyday utilitarian form, the positive way of using anger is simply to say, “no” to something to reestablish the boundary. However, if we say “no” with the feeling all of the shadowy drag listed above, then we are usually going to have to have more pain and discomfort in the relationship, and nothing gets resolved.
Utilitarian anger is actually the instrument of compassion in relationship, because when it is properly used, it allows one to practice halting the dysfunction in the relationship. If we don’t express our boundaries (anger) correctly, then we are enabling the dysfunction in the relationship to continue. Co-dependency ensues.
After the inventory of each shadow emotion is clarified, then we also talk about how these 6 emotions are correlated with each other via the primary emotion of grief, which is the old unresolved trauma imprinting in our subconscious and conscious minds. This exercise is called The Grief Box exercise.
Shadow grief begets shadow fear. Shadow fear begets shadow desire. Shadow desire begets shadow anger. Shadow anger begets shadow pride. Each of the shadow emotion states are used in the reverse to cover up the lower states.
You can see that we use false pride and denial to hide our shadow anger, desire, fear, and grief from everyone. We do this so that we will appear as normal and acceptable.
We use shadow anger to cover the shadow desire. Shadow desire can express itself in mild forms, or more exaggerated forms; such as alcoholism, gambleaholism, sexaholism, and workaholism. Shadow desire is simply some kind of addictive process we are running because of our shadow fear.
An addiction is any behavior which is the result of a fear of internal growth. We develop shadow anger to keep others from knowing our shadow desire.
Shadow desire covers the fear, and the fear covers the shadow grief. We are afraid of our grief. It hurts, and so we keep pushing it away with a tangle of shadow emotion states.
Please understand, we are taught to use these emotion states in the shadow by parents, siblings, other family, teachers, coaches, and institutions. Then we go about culturing a shadowy emotional tool box to keep others from seeing all of the grief we hold inside; our secrets.
The utilitarian purpose of grief is to simply allow us to release and let go of things in our lives which hurt. Proper release allows for a resetting of intention. Forgiveness follows.
We all have a Grief Box of memories inside of our flesh. The Grief Box of memories will continue to inform who we are becoming in the shadow until we learn how to honor the various griefs and secrets, and get them organized and forgiven as being “bad.”
The grief is only “bad” if we continue to believe in all of that “good” vs. “bad” conditioning and propaganda from other peoples’ voices (OPV).
OPV inside of our brain mind sounds like the chatter of Judge, Critic, Skeptic, Pusher, and Victim. None of these voices represent our authentic self. They are the residual of the voices of our parents, siblings, teachers, coaches, peers, and institutions. OPV needs to be respected, and boundaried, and forgiven as just a part of our life journey.
Otherwise, the shadow grief continues to inform our beliefs about who we think we are, and how we must react in relationship, and that might not be so good.
Just look at what is going on in the world right now.”
Well, that is my short treatise on shadow anger sent to my friend so that he could understand where I am coming from on the subject of how to conduct oneself in potentially complicating and threatening relationship dynamics.
Crestone and Beyond
The founder of Reiki was Mikao Usui, who lived from 1865 to 1926. He has left us with a nice quotation for the development of A Peaceful Mental Demeanor:
“Just for today, do not anger. Just for today, do not worry. Be humble.
Be honest in your work. Be compassionate to yourself, and to others.”
Emotional intelligence usually takes a lifetime of practice to master. To come clean on all of the traumatic imprints which we memory in our flesh (our body, the field of the subconscious), requires forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the only way we heal. Forgiveness liberates the Soul and it pacifies shadow fear.
Forgiveness requires a cognitive effort, and a sincere lovable rearrangement of the extraordinary memories in our Grief Box. This OK-ness will allow for simple witness consciousness to develop, for non judgment to develop, equanimity with our life process to develop, and will assist in our individual and collective evolution.
Both simple and deep forgiveness heal the flesh of cellular chaos, the progenitor of all disease.
Forgiveness allows for a loosening of the knots in the Heart. The Heart Mind becomes restful and resonant in its resonant frequency of 0.1 cycles per second. In this frequency of Heart electromagnetics we feel calm, we can access higher emotional frequencies, we have higher cognitive and intuitive abilities, and our Heart energetic field can entrain other Heart fields.
Health benefits accrue. We can also learn to manifest from this energetic what our intrinsic individual human Gifts are; the ones that are carried in every Heart to discover and develop in this lifetime.
The information in this last paragraph is age old cultural and spiritual information, and now has become real science. See www.HeartMath.org.
Sweet dreams emerge. Higher emotional frequencies of emotions can come to the foreground and our true authentic desires, wishes, hopes and visions can become manifest as we align our point of vibrational offering with the Universal point of vibrational attraction.
Another perspective which you can use to ponder this Journal entry is from Jesus, as quoted in the Gospel of Thomas:
“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
Signing off from Crestone and Beyond.
Peace to you and to the World