Anger is a close cousin of grief, and they are often directly linked up our bodies.
Allowing our anger/rage to move us will sometimes give rise to waves of grief we weren’t able to access before, and sometimes moving grief unleashes anger that we’ve worked very hard to hide or mask.
The anger in grief is righteous, no matter what the specifics are. There is the basic anger that comes from losing, particularly if we’ve experienced abandonment before. There is often anger at how the ones we love got taken. There is often anger at the sociopolitical systems that made the ones we love sick in numerous ways. There is sometimes anger at god or spirit for taking our people in ways that often feel senseless and random.
I want you to know that, just like grief-if you feel your anger and start to judge it or push it down or call it something else (frustration is a big one), it will continue to come up until you let it out.
Your anger needs your attention, and it doesn’t need to stay locked in your body. It needs to learn that it can come out in ways that don’t harm yourself or other people.
Processing anger is a necessity in the process of learning to carry grief, and I often invite my clients to make a “rage playground”.
Start by clearing your space of any breakables or other furniture.
Gather pillows to punch and throw down, paper or fabric to tear, maybe even old dishes to break (if you’re outside) and any other objects that would feel good to throw.
Find a few songs (2-3) that feel like rage to you, you’ll know the ones.
When your space is set up, take several breaths to locate your rage/anger in your body, turn on the first song, and go at it.
Anything your body wants to do is a yes.
Stomping, screaming, body percussion, punching pillows-the possibilities are endless.
Try to go for one whole song, and if your nervous system isn’t feeling too overwhelmed, keep going for a second song.
When you’re finished, let your body recuperate naturally. We all have our own ways of moving from exertion to recuperation. There is often deeper breathing, rocking and stretching that wants to happen. Again, whatever you find your body doing is exactly right.
In the silence, place a hand on your heart and notice what comes up. Is it sadness? Fear? Longing? Let out any sounds or tears that need to come.
This is your time.
When you come out of it, you might draw or journal anything that comes to you.
Let me know how it goes.