Why Our Anger Can Mean We're Growing


 As an active member of Unity Center of Peace and a person who’s been spiritually curious for years, I’m used to paying attention to my emotions. I’ve learned to see them as signals of something going on within me that needs understanding and compassion. 

Lately, however, I’ve been experiencing harsh emotions that have surprised me. Like when a neighbor walking their dog turns around when they see me and my AmStaff (aka pit bull) pup approaching, I get angry. A whole narrative forms in my mind about their assumptions and judgment. And when I feel like my opinion isn’t getting the attention it deserves, I feel slighted and my tone can get aggressive.

A mantra that’s helped me be less reactive is “I choose peace instead of this” from A Course in Miracles. But lately, I’ve been choosing to sacrifice peace in lieu of wanting to FEEL these tense emotions. So, am I going backwards? 

I’m learning that I don’t have to sit and suffer with my questions. That when I earnestly ask for answers, they come. 

I got my answer this past month in a class that’s part of my year-long certification program on the Enneagram. Another participant shared an experience during Q&A of seeing herself in two movies - one as a needy child looking for approval and recognition; the other as someone who’s always been fully loved, encouraged and supported. 

She was struggling to accept either reality as being true, and trying to reconcile these contrasting scripts was confusing. At times, she’d unexpectedly find herself responding to situations in emotionally explosive ways. Boy, could I relate!

A feeling of peace and relief washed over me just seeing the looks of understanding and compassion on the faces of our instructors. Clearly, I am not alone in what I’m experiencing. It’s normal - part of being committed to a path of growth and transformation. Here’s a glimpse of what they shared:

As we grow in our capacity of consciousness and compassion, the most raw and difficult parts of us that before would have been too overwhelming to process start to emerge. 

I’m so grateful that I’ve been on my spiritual journey since 2006, that I discovered the Enneagram and found Unity five years ago. It’s expanded my understanding of a higher power that lives inside of me instead of being separate from me. And the practical, uplifting guidance I receive every Sunday morning at Unity Center of Peace has prepared my heart to look openly at the parts of me that felt too ugly and scary to face before.

There are parts in all of us that need to be seen, shared and understood. Parts that we’ve cut off or hidden because they were too painful to be with and to process. And yet when we do the work of looking within ourselves with curiosity and compassion, we see the wholeness of who we are. And we realize why we feel so wounded and incomplete.

You won’t feel whole until you’re willing to look openly at all your parts. If you’re ready to look deeper, don’t do it alone. Come visit us on Sunday mornings at 11:00, in person or on Facebook or YouTube Live. Or come and be part of one of our many other events we host – you’ll find a full list in our “What’s Happening” section on our website. 

Cheryl Stevens is a transformational leadership coach, facilitator and speaker on developing your inner game. She is also an active member of Unity Center of Peace and serves on the Board.

Gifts of Surrender
Practice and Discipline by Teddy Diggs


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