“You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.” – Maya Angelo
The Discomfort of Tension
I never imagined myself writing this article.
In fact, writing this article was one of the most uncomfortable processes in my life.
However, as a transformation facilitator, the discomfort is always a strong indicator that there is more reason for me to dive deeper and uncover hidden truth within what’s causing the tension.
This time, it is around anger. A topic that makes some of us cringe, and some of us rage.
This is a topic I am revisiting, but with deeper understanding each time on this spiral journey called self-actualization.
To help you understand why anger is a difficult but essential component in the journey of self-empowerment, I need to offer you a background story.
My “Nice Girl” Story
Growing up in communist China in the 80’s, every adult in my life drilled the “nice girl” concept into my head.
A nice girl is a girl who is modest and humble. She is quiet, non-confrontational, reserved and obedient. She knows her place in this world and hangs out with other nice girls. A nice girl does not share her thoughts, words or emotions if not asked, better yet, she is to follow what “authority figures” tell her how to think, speak and feel.
She is to work hard and does what she is told.
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She is to earn her worthiness through good grades and appropriate (obedient) behavior.
She is to put her needs last to always show compassion and consideration to others.
I grew up hiding behind the smiling nice girl facade. I held the idea an emotion such as anger is inappropriate, especially for girls and women. No nice girl should ever be caught angry because this immediately makes her emotional, irrational, ugly, unfeminine, hysterical, or even crazy.
And then the worst will happen: no one will like her.
As a result, I spent the first half of my life busying trying to be liked. I was a people pleaser. I hardly allowed myself to feel angry and when I did, I made sure it was done in the privacy of my own home so no one would see it.
The cost was astronomical: I experienced lifelong auto-immune issues, dysfunctional relationships, money leaks, and an overall sense of powerlessness. It wasn’t until my spiritual awakening years ago that I was able to really shine a light on all the powerless patterns I locked up in a dark closet I didn’t even know existed.
Gender and Anger
Boys and men are affected by the disempowering belief about anger as well, though it is, for the most part, expressed and received differently.
I remember watching boys breaking each other’s noses and insulting each other’s mothers because they did not know how to channel their anger in healthier ways. My dad repressed his anger by a display of slamming doors, throwing utensils and withdrawing affection for days at a time in complete silence, allowing it to boil over inside of him. Never once in his life had he opened up to his family to let us know why he was angry.
Overall, our society has an easier time accepting the outward blasting of male anger, especially when it involves a powerful figure scolding his employees or men fighting for what they want. Most of it is done unconsciously.
In my work, I’ve witnessed how much the lack of understanding of anger in men leads to the same disempowerment.
Some men believe they must exert control over their environment by force and manipulation. Some identify the expression of anger with power over others, leading to the alpha male stereotype.
Deep down inside, in both women and men, anger means unresolved pain around claiming their wholeness and power.
The Brutal Mirrors of Entrepreneurship and Psychedelics
The world you live in is a projection screen, and each experience you encounter is a projection, or the effect of your current state of consciousness.
However, the world also provides a massive amount of distractions and creative outlets for you to run away from recognizing the connection between your inner misalignment and the images on the screen. These means can range from substances to unconscious media.
Entrepreneurship (especially for those who became entrepreneurs after leaving their corporate jobs) and psychedelics take away that buffer zone. They take away the distractions that enable you to turn a blind eye on your disempowerment, and bring up your shit real fast.
Intimate relationships have the same effect, though one can still choose to walk away from it when things get uncomfortable.
It isn’t the same with running your business which translates to, if you can’t find a way to realign fast, you won’t be able to pay next month’s rent along with all your expenses.
Unconscious power leak is one of the biggest factors contributing to financial lack and scarcity among entrepreneurs.
Psychedelics melt all filters, and magnify whatever is within. In an ayahuasca journey, you better pray you don’t try to run or else you’ll suffer the displeasure of the mother who is committed to delivering you an extra dose of her tough love (to help you integrate your ayahuasca journey, download my Psychedelics Integration Kit here).
The Nice (and Disempowered) Healer
When I left my job years ago after my spiritual awakening, I naturally took on the role of a compassionate healer and spiritual coach, and saw clients in my private office in midtown Manhattan.
I was successful in my craft, having trained with a variety of experts and done a ton of self-work. I was able to transform my own limiting patterns in health, relationships, money, fear, and help others do the same, yet one thing remained…
I could not own my anger.
Throughout my life, I was so uncomfortable with the emotion called anger that I looked to transform and rationalize as soon as I felt it.
To make it worse, for a while, I wanted to fit into the role of that compassionate, calm and loving spiritual teacher because I wanted to be liked and accepted.
God forbid if I ever showed anger!
God forbid if I let my emotions fly out of control when I taught the concept of taking complete self-responsibility!
And then the unthinkable…what if they don’t like me? What if they judge?
Having done this work, I want to share that this is something that continues to come up in my work with private clients, women and men in the corporate world, soulpreneurs and conscious leaders who are frustrated with lack of full self-authenticity and empowerment.
The truth is, we live in a world where anger is simply unacceptable.
Where Are You Giving Away Your Power?
My hard lessons of bypassing anger began showing up intensely in my psychedelic ceremonies and business when I began upleveling.
My evolution shifted my work to supporting those who work with psychedelics in integrating and embodying the wisdom from their journeys, and helping them create the aligned success they desire from a place of wholeness and leadership.
I became more outspoken about consciousness, the proper use of psychedelics to create quantum leaps, and how our world is in dire need of conscious leadership which starts with each of us reclaiming our power.
All entrepreneurs deal with challenges that arise in sharing our messages with the world. I am no exception. I treated all this as part of my work with an attitude of “let go and let God.”
Suddenly, within a very short period of time, it seemed my life turned into a rough ayahuasca ceremony when every encounter pushed my boundaries.
I couldn’t catch a break. Every day, something new emerged.
Pushy and demanding colleagues. People misusing my content. Sexual objectification from social media. Inquisitions and insults from random strangers in my inbox.
Repetitive negative patterns in life mean only one thing – Go in, and examine where you are giving away your power.
What Ayahuasca Taught Me About Anger
It just so happened that I had a hell of an ayahuasca ceremony months prior to that. I integrated most of the pieces in the next seven months, except I completely missed the dominating emotion of that ceremony –anger.
Specifically, it was a ceremony where everything went wrong, and I was angry for the entire night at the shaman for not doing his job. Of course, being part of a grander plan, that anger helped me understand and claim the energy behind power and leadership which was one of my intentions.
I’d like to add that rough journeys, just like rough experiences in life are never punishments, they are initiations.
My aha moment came when I reached a boiling point by the repetitive boundary pushers in my life. I suddenly remembered the anger I felt in that ceremony.
Everything became clear. The heavy, dense and unpleasant sensations I’d been feeling in my gut around certain people, the uninvited irritability and lethargy, and the constant thought and regret of “I should have said that” or “I shouldn’t have done that.”
Conscious Anger, Power, and Leadership
Anger, when channeled properly and consciously, is a gateway to power. Power leads to freedom. Freedom leads to conscious choice. Conscious choice allows you to stand in your sovereignty and leadership.
Anger is an effect, not the cause.
Anger is an indicator showing you exactly where you are losing power. Beneath the anger, there are boundaries and core values that are being violated, beliefs that are holding you prisoner, and pain around the self-betrayal you are committing because you are too afraid to make that choice deep down inside you know you are asked to make.
That choice can look like any of these things:
- Saying yes when you mean yes.
- Saying no when you mean no.
- Speaking your truth rather than fearing confrontation. Yes, this includes letting someone know when they are not respecting your boundaries or values.
- Always choosing that thing that honors your needs.
- Feeling and communicating with your emotions rather than running away from them.
Anger is a sacred initiation that can liberate you from limiting patterns from your past, and propel you forward in stepping into the person you want to be.
Anger from that ayahuasca ceremony helped strengthen my will to stay in my power no matter what was happening around me. The entire ceremony was about reclaiming my power.
Anger can help you find the strength to commit to that path that will allow you to stay true to yourself, and return to your wholeness.
You are the leader of your universe. You project your thoughts into the world which turn into experiences. You get to choose who you want to be, and what you want to create in your life.
What About Love, Gratitude and Forgiveness?
Anger is a facet of love, so is everything else.
Anger urges you to drop everything else and take care of yourself – an act that is of the deepest love, love for the self.
Self-love is the foundation for creating soul-aligned success in well-being, relationships, business expansion, financial abundance, and impact and legacy. All richness in life is generated from within.
Once you give yourself permission to become the most fully self-expressed vision and version of who you are at any moment, and this can be as small of a step as making the decision to allow yourself to approach anger with curiosity and ask what it wants you to choose rather than shun it like an enemy, you are channeling the energy of self-love.
From the space of self-love, the choices you make and actions you take then align with your self-integrity.
Allowing yourself to intentionally channel anger is never about revenge or physical aggression towards others. It is about understanding where you are giving your power away, and how to access that power.
Eventually, you will no longer need the gateway called anger to step into your power within.
This is when you can consciously choose to activate love, forgiveness, and gratitude within yourself.
I’ve observed many in the plant medicine community using psychedelics as a way to stay in the oneness and love state without taking the time and effort to integrate, invest in help, and do the self-work in the physical realm (to help you integrate your psychedelic experience and step into your empowerment, download my free Integration Kit here).
I’ve heard again and again, “I don’t want to come back because I felt so much love and bliss.”
Self-work in this human body can be uncomfortable. It is also where your highest power, wholeness, and leadership reside.
Transformation is birthed from tension. Same is complacency.
As a human being, you are wired to resolve tension in life in two ways. You succumb to the discomfort and slip into old disempowering patterns, most likely unconsciously; and for some, it means using external means to numb the tension.
Or, you surrender to the tension, embrace it, and push yourself to the next level.
One way or another, the growing pains will get resolved however temporarily. How it gets resolved is always your choice.
If you are ready to uplevel, allow yourself to say yes to this initiation, and own every part of who you are, anger included.
Once you own it, you realize this – you are infinitely more powerful than whatever has caused that anger.
And this is the only truth there is.
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Originally posted on Wake Up World.