Sometimes, there’s just no getting around it. Confrontation happens, and just like this rack of deer horns, you find yourself entangled in an emotional mess. Things seemed to have been going along just fine, and then POW! What an icky, sticky goo that you’ve found yourself in. It’s how you proceed from that point that makes all the difference in the world, because as I usually am able to see it, there are valuable lessons to be learned here in the midst of the mire!
In my cosmology, or way of looking at the world, there are no coincidences. So whether you lose someone in your life, or you just keep repeating the same fights over and over with the same person, there are some questions to ask. Is there a discernible pattern with this person or person(s). Where do you think that the underlying fear(s) are coming from? In working with my clients, I’ve found that anger often is laying over the top of fears. Anger is much more aggressive and active and many often feel like they’re at least letting someone know what’s going on when they’re angry. Fear is usually a much more submissive feeling, and leaves many feeling helpless, so it’s often covered over by anger.
Unmet expectations often leads to confrontation. You were expecting a person to act one way and they didn’t deliver. That can lead to many confrontations. In my shamanic training in Lakota Sioux and Mohawk traditions however, when you have one finger pointing at someone else, blaming them for something, there are three fingers pointing back at yourself. An example might be when you feel like someone you trusted left you, which may be a fact. However, the hurt from it might come from a parent dying at an early age or some other early event when needs weren’t met. So, again in my cosmology, that recent person leaving your life gives you a chance to heal those very early issues of being left behind or not being good enough if you realize that that’s what’s going on. It’s not the recent person in your life that’s the problem; it’s early stuff.
What’s really cool is that instead of suppressing the anger, which usually leads to a lot of painful body symptoms, with practice, you can allow your anger to come up into your awareness inside. However, someone looking at you would have no clue that you’re angry, For me, that’s an amazingly powerful feeling to be that in control of my anger, that I can let it surface, be with it, and then with the techniques that I use, allow it to be transformed and released. For me, that’s incredibly empowering and self-affirming, because in the past, if I would allow myself to show anger at all, I would feel helpless, totally lost, and stupid, to the point that some times I wouldn’t even be able to speak or offer up any words in my defense.
I used to think that being on a spiritual path would eventually lead to a totally blissful life and there would be no more traumatic situations. Perhaps it does, but I know that I’m not there yet. I do find however, that through my work, much of what I come up against I am able to step back from and look at it from a more dispassionate viewpoint than I would have in the past. That ability is really freeing, and I’m incredibly pleased with myself, having spent much of my life tossed around on seas of emotions.
How do you deal with strong emotions? Have you found a way to get beyond the obvious situation that’s in your face and step back to see what’s really behind the confrontation?
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