“But never have I been a blue calm sea,
I have always been a storm,
Always been a storm,
Ooh, always been a storm
I have always been a storm” - Stevie Nicks
I’ve been going to therapy for over 6 months now. In my 20s, I was completely averse to psychotherapy. I had this judgment based on complete ignorance, that it was for weak people who could not handle the problems in their lives, so they pay someone extortionate amounts of money to complain and whine. I dismissed it as indulgent and superfluous. I always imagined people in third world countries, who had “real” problems, surviving violence and warfare, struggling to eat and find shelter; I imagined they would laugh at the idea of a therapist. First world problems, I thought.
Now, in my 30s, I am so thankful that I have a therapist I resonate with. I can’t believe how smug I was, and how I thought I had all my shit together. It took some deeply dark moments of intense inner struggle, bouts of identity crises and emotional turmoil to surrender to the fact that I did need help, and that someone who had no personal connection to me could provide enlightening insight into my psyche. I tried to heal with energy work, and pleading to my Spirit Guides to show me the way to clarity and peace of mind, but sometimes what people often forget, is that instead of waving a magic wand and making everything better, Spirit/Universal Energy often directs us to the people and circumstances that can actually help us. We are here to learn, to experience, to fall, and ascend, and none of that would happen if we did not do the work.
During a recent session, we discussed anger. I’ve had issues with not being able to express my anger my entire life. We discussed middle school memories of being taunted for acting “feminine”, feeling insecure and unworthy because I was terrible at sports, being bullied by a kid who attacked me because I “shoulder checked” him, and spending my entire developing years in the closet. I thought these things didn’t affect anymore, but events in my adulthood, where I lashed out in rage, revealed that my triggers stemmed from things that happened to me in the past, that dug themselves deep into my subconscious.
In one practice, she asked me to bring up a girl who taunted me, and to say to her everything that I wish I could have said to defend myself and shut her down. I imagined her standing in front of me, and I immediately knew what I wanted to say. I said them, but I felt silly, like I was talking to myself, I felt crazy; and this is coming from someone who communicates with Spirits. I found myself trying to tame my anger, even in this moment where the task was to let it fly. I couldn’t raise my voice, I couldn’t shout and scream, I wanted to erupt like a volcano but I just couldn’t. I was afraid of how my therapist would see me, embarrassed for her to experience the “ugly” part of me, now take a minute to ponder that. I was even frightened to think that her patients and the receptionist in the waiting room would hear me.
We addressed my need to control my emotions, my clenched jaw, the heaviness in my chest, the pressure in my forehead, all symptoms built through the years of how I tried to “deal” with my anger, but all I did was bury and suppress it. This is a block we will continue to work through. My need to control my anger filters through other aspects of my life; my need to control people, to control how I am perceived, to control situations, even when they are completely out of my control. Having awareness of why we react, and the physical symptoms we experience, can help us understand ourselves, uncover the roots of our wounds, and ultimately heal them. The anger that we do not face, sooner or later makes itself known when we least expect it, and then we often take it out on those closest to us. That anger has a message for us, and when we allow it to speak, we can listen, and pay attention, and find ways to release it, and use it to be more mindful. Not that we will never lose our temper or act in an unsavory way ever again, but we when we have the tools and knowledge, we can process these emotions, these energies, in a more productive and cathartic way in the future.
We owe it to ourselves, to our wounded inner child, to heal. Discover the method that works for you. If you could do this all on your own, without the help of a professional, I truly applaud you, more power to you. However, if you need the help of a professional, it is normal to feel ashamed, and scared, and even a little silly. I have felt all of those things, but getting over ourselves is the first step to discovering who we truly are, and letting go of what no longer serves us.