I’m not sure how relatable a post about rage is, but maybe many can identify with experiences of anger – externally explosive or silently repressed. My story was one of irrepressible rage, but how in unravelling what lay beneath, I emerged into an existence of harmony over volatility.
Cascades of rage used to tumble out of me. Uncensored, unfiltered, untamed. It fell upon whatever lay before me – my partner, my furniture, my skin. It shredded it all. People were afraid of me. I was afraid of me.
But now, my ruptured relationship with myself and others has, unimaginably, inconceivably, been repaired. Phenomenally transformed, but never flawless.
“Empowerment is the medicine for rage.” ~ John Prendergast
If rage is a response to the unvoiced, unmet, untended needs that gnaw away at our insides, wrestling for our attention, then empowerment is the placatory antidote.
Dare we meet our rage with tenderness instead of contempt? Dare we witness its atrocious tenacity with an open heart and dissolve our disgust?
Instead of being repulsed by our rage, may we hear its call? May we respond with inquisitive love instead of hostility and hate?
Because rage is rarely reasonless. It is a multilayered, messy tapestry of often decades of neglected needs. It is a reaction to concealing our innermost longings, to deserting ourselves and ignoring our fractured, fragile nervous systems.
Many times we were inadvertently taught to do this by our caregivers who too abandoned themselves. We find ourselves weighted down, crushed, by the towering stacks of intergenerational needs unanswered. Soul thirst unquenched. And our shattered hearts are angry.
It’s tragic and it’s relentless and it’s possibly unavoidable. Mere misunderstanding transmitted from human to human yet causing so much inexplicable pain and suffering.
But what if this inherited self-silencing can be transmuted? What if we get to find our voices? What happens then?
If rage is repression, then power is peace. Not the kind of power that brings with it grandiosity and self-inflation, a delusional element of separation. Me vs you. But the kind of power that upturns a felt sense of powerlessness, despondency and helplessness.
Empowerment is the amplification of our timid whispers that know the truth. That know what we want and know what we need. It’s an inversion of suppression, an unfolding of our sharp corners. It’s delicately treading the fine line between assertion and aggression, unobscuring our buried knowings, our suffocated voice, and valourously articulating our desires.
It’s unpacking and uncovering and revealing what lies beneath. It’s untangling the wordless thoughts, the seemingly confusing visceral sensations, and naming and taming that which ruled us without our consent. It’s becoming the architect of our internal terrain through its deconstruction. It’s finding our ‘no’ in an intolerably lifelong sea of ‘yeses’.
I don’t really like the word empowerment. I think it’s quite cringy, cliched, overused, and over-simplified. It seems to impose a promise of something unattainable and otherworldly, but that’s the barrier of language right? If we can unscramble the semantics and reach the essence of a word, find its route to our heart, then hopefully it makes sense.
It’s not easy. None of this is. But knowing there’s a passageway out of our powerlessness, knowing that when our blood is boiling it is merely a memo and that there is nothing wrong with us, with who we are, we can lean into the space of possibility.