I had a recent experience where someone was expressing anger towards me. It was strong anger – no filter, no space of kindness, no taking a few breaths and letting words come through the heart, or perhaps even the brain – simply an explosion of feeling. Of intensity. Of rawness, and depth and force.
And during the time of this encounter, I chose to listen – to truly listen to the pain behind the emotion. I grounded and centered myself, feeling and visioning myself as the eye of the storm, with swirling winds and extreme turbulence all around me – but simultaneously sheltered: protected in my solid foundation of truth and knowing.
You see, the anger that was expressed was unfounded in its origin. It was not based on truth. This person was challenging my integrity in this expression. Which made me extra happy and proud that I was able to simply listen without reacting in the moments of his sharing.
I knew that the feeling of anger, that strong and sudden and passionate emotion, needed to be expressed and released by him. And I chose to ride out the flare of emotion that erupted, in faith that I would have my time to respond and assist his understanding.
So I listened, but drew an important boundary while doing so. All by simply making a conscious choice to be kind and true to myself. To honour myself in the midst of intensity of emotion that was directed towards me.
I could have gotten defensive. I could have pushed away energetically. I could have walked away, or shut myself down from listening altogether. My choice instead was to allow the expression of anger through his words until they came to their natural end. And then, trusting my heart to find the words, I said the following:
“I know that your anger needs a place to land, but I choose to let it bounce.”
I did not take it on. I did not allow the emotion of anger to come into my peaceful field, let alone be tainted or dominated by it. I recognized straight away that his accusatory tone and words were based on an untruth.
I honoured myself, my truth, and my integrity. The situation we encountered together that triggered this anger was as much a surprise to me as to him. The biggest difference was the way in which we each chose to view it.
He from a victim mentality “Why me?” “Who can I blame?” Me from a personal growth viewpoint, “What is the lesson?” “How can I grow?” “What’s the next most loving step I can take?”
And the next most loving step I took was to let the anger bounce.