As human beings, we are blessed with the capability to feel our emotions. In fact, some say the only reason we have chosen this human experience arises from the fact that this is the only planet carrying the vibration of emotional energy, and we have come here precisely to experience it. Consequently, when we do not allow ourselves to experience the full range of emotions and suppress them instead, our souls create situations in which we literally are forced to feel them. (Haven't you noticed that people often are given opportunities to feel intense emotions just after having prayed for spiritual growth?)
This means that the whole point of creating an upset may simply lie in our soul's desire to provide an opportunity for us to feel a suppressed emotion. That being the case, simply allowing ourselves to have the feeling might allow the energy to move through us and the so-called problem to disappear immediately.
However, not all situations are dissolved that easily. When we try coping with a deep-seated issue and a remembrance of what seems an unforgivable transgression, such as sexual abuse, rape or physical abuse, it takes more than just experiencing our emotions to get to the point where we feel unconditional love for that person. Feeling the emotion fully is just the first step in faking it until we make it and definitely cannot be bypassed.
Releasing Underlying Repressed Feelings
I am not saying that the emotional work will not benefit from insight gained through a shift in perception that might have occurred before the emotions were felt and expressed. It certainly will. However, the converse does not hold true; the perceptual shift required for Radical Forgiveness will not happen if the underlying repressed feelings are not released first.
Invariably, when we feel the desire to forgive someone or something, we have at some time felt anger toward them or it. Anger actually exists as a secondary emotion. Beneath anger lies a primary emotional pain, such as hurt pride, shame, frustration, sadness, terror, or fear. Anger represents energy in motion emanating from the suppression of that pain. Not allowing one's anger to flow can be likened to trying to cap a volcano. One day it will blow! Stage one and two in the Radical Forgiveness process asks us to get in touch with not only the anger, but the underlying emotion as well. This means feeling it -- not talking about it, not analyzing it, not labeling it, but experiencing it!
Love Your Anger then Let It Go
All too often when people talk about letting go of anger or releasing anger, they really mean trying to get rid of it. They judge it as wrong and undesirable -- even frightening. They do not want to feel it so they just talk about it and try to process it intellectually, but that does not work. Trying to process emotion through talking about it is just another way to resist feeling it. That's why most talk therapies don't work. What you resist persists. Since anger represents energy in motion, resisting it just keeps it stuck within us -- until the volcano erupts. Releasing anger actually means freeing the stuck energy of held emotions by allowing them to move freely through the body as feeling.
Doing some kind of anger work helps us experience this emotion purposely and with control.
Anger Work Moves Energy
What we call anger work is not really about anger. It is simply the process of getting energy stuck in the body moving again. It might be more appropriately called energy release work. Whatever we call it, the process can be as simple as screaming into a cushion (so as not to alarm neighbors), yelling in the car, beating cushions, chopping wood, or doing some other explosive physical activity.
Combining physical activity with the use of the voice seems to provide the key to successful energy release work. All too often we block the energy of emotion in the throat, whether that be anger, sadness, guilt or whatever else, so vocal expression should always be a part of the process. We should go into it, not with the idea of trying to rid ourselves of the feeling, but with the intention of feeling the intensity of it moving through our body -- without thought or judgment. If we truly can surrender to the emotions, we will feel more alive than we have felt in a long while, and we will find that the energy has dissipated.
If Anger Is Scary, Get Some Support
For many of us, the thought of bringing up anger may be too scary even to contemplate, especially if terror lies underneath the anger. The person who did these terrible things to us may still exert a strong influence on our subconscious mind.
Under these circumstances, it would not be advisable to do anger work alone. Instead, we should work with someone who knows how to support us while we feel both the anger and the terror -- someone with whom we feel safe and who has experience in helping people move through intense emotion. A counselor or psychotherapist of some kind would be a good choice. I also recommend doing Satori Breathwork with a skilled practitioner. This provides a way to release emotion.
Anger Addiction Warning
A note of caution needs to be sounded here. It becomes all too easy to get addicted to anger. Anger feeds on itself and easily becomes resentment. Resentment relishes going over and over an old hurt, constantly revisiting the pain associated with it and venting the resultant anger in some form. It becomes a powerful addiction in and of itself.
We must realize that anger that persists serves no useful purpose. Consequently, once the energy of anger has been allowed to flow as feeling, we should use the energy to create a positive outcome. Maybe we need to set a boundary or a condition on future interactions with the person around whom our anger revolves. Perhaps we can make a decision of some kind, such as to be willing to feel compassion for the person or to forgive the person. Only when used as the catalyst for positive change, self-empowerment or forgiveness will we prevent the anger from becoming an addictive cycle.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Global 13 Publications. www.radicalforgiveness.com
This article is excerpted from the book:
Radical Forgiveness, Making Room for the Miracle, 2nd Edition, ©2002,
by Colin C. Tipping.
Unlike other forms of forgiveness, radical forgiveness is easily achieved and virtually immediate, enabling you to let go of being a victim, open your heart and raise your vibration. The simple, easy-to-use tools provided help you let go of the emotional baggage of the past and to feel the joy of living in total surrender to the process of life as it unfolds, however it unfolds. The result is vastly increased happiness, personal power and freedom.
Info/Order this book.
About the Author
Colin Tipping is an award winning author, international speaker and workshop leader. Educated at London University, he is the Founder/Director of the Institute for RADICAL Forgiveness Therapy and Coaching, Inc., and founder of the International Center for Reconciliation and Meditation Through Radical Forgiveness, Inc, a non-profit corporation.