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I’ve sometimes been shocked by how violent I can feel. A stray remark or small action has occasionally had me shaking with anger.
This is disturbing. Most of the time I’m pretty easy going – cruisy is the type of life that I like best. And yet I have this violence in me. What to do?
Firstly, I think, is getting space. If we feel violent it is best usually not to express it (unless we are danger). It is usually unlikely that simply lashing out will be helpful. It is very likely that it will be better to consider what we want to do. So, first is to get some space.
Secondly is finding a way to calm down. If this means jumpiing up and down, stamping, going for a walk, hitting the mattress, that’s OK. I think we need to do something with all that physical energy. After doing this I find it possible to think clearly.
Thirdly is finding why I’m so upset. Usually, because it has come out of the blue, I can realise that something weird is going on. My reaction is well and truly out of proportion. It is not what has happened in the present that is the reason for my feeling violent – so the answer is usually in the past. That stray remark or small action has hooked an unresolved issue in me, it is just a trigger.
Usually I can realise that I am feeling like a hurt child. Often enough I can remember one or more incidents when I felt like this. Then I can get a handle on what it is in my past that has been hooked.
Usually when we are feeling violent it is because we feel trapped, cornered powerless. Our feelings of violence usually come from feeling powerless or weak. Violence is often a manifestation of weakness not strength.
Fourthly, is finding my ability to choose. When I can think, and know what the violence is about I can start making choices about what to do. It may be that I need to stand up for myself, or leave a situation that is bad for me. It may be that we need to lighten up on ourselves and play more. There will usually be some changes that we are able to make.
Finally a word about the benefit. There is enormous energy in me. These feelings are so strong. If I can channel this energy then there is an enormous resource for me to draw on. There is enormous vitality in me, this is what my violent feelings reveal, this is the gift they have for me.
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