Anger and Boundaries

The work of anger is to be clear, vulnerable, loving, connected, non-controlling, and strong at the same time.
— Karla McLaren

You are worth protecting. Just like an ecosystem or a water way. You are important! And your anger knows it! When we learn how to channel our anger and answer the questions,

What must be protected?

What must be restored?

We can get really clear and concise with who we are and what we value.

Just recently I attended the Mile High TedX Make+Believe event. An ecologist was speaking about her journey with emotions through the lens of a biologist. In her day job she would go in and examine waterways where an invasive plant species had taken over the ecosystem. Years ago we would have removed the invasive species, but what we discovered was that in doing so we damaged a whole new ecosystem by taking away new habitat from the many animals and birds that find refuge in them. What she discovered is that a noxious weed can only take root in a compromised, already not healthy, ecosystem.

When I think about this in terms of DEI I see some real beauty in this story and I am reminded of a story on of my fellow trainers, Rebecca Angelo Duke, uses in her workshops with anger. We think of dandelions as noxious weeds. They come and invade our beautiful green lawns. In most suburban neighborhoods we want to eradicate them from our yards because they take away the beauty that is our perfectly manicured lawn.

But really, dandelions are miraculous little beauties. They take root in our green grass because grass is an extremely nutrient needy plant. It damages the soil in which it is planted. Dandelions come to aerate the soil and go through the cycle of life and death to add nutrients back to the soil. If dandelions were allowed to do their thing (and other weeds in general) our lawns would be eradicated, our soil would be returned to a healthy condition, and native plant life would take root and there would be no need for dandelions to take root.

If we look at "who we are" and what is important to us-what we value- when we spend time protecting, nourishing, and cultivating our well-being there is no space for noxious weeds. However, anger is really great at letting us know a weed has taken root, and gives us a chance to explore the deficiencies in our soil. 

What needs to be protected? What needs to be restored? The two questions for our anger. When we can sit in this space, we can see how necessary anger is and how it helps us be clear, vulnerable, loving, connected and strong. 

How has your anger served you?

Andrea Watkins