Let's talk about anger.
Anger at yourself. Anger at others.
It is easy to spend -- or, rather, waste -- many, many years being an angry person.
I think a lot of women are taught to express emotions, but then society does a one-eighty and tells us not to complain or make waves. Don't stand out! Someone will see you there.
And for men, it may be worse. They are taught to keep it all bottled up inside, but they can stand out and assert themselves. And they can also use sports as a safety valve, if they are so inclined. But what do they do if they're not athletic, or there's not a weight room or track in sight? Where is the outlet then? Is it in violence?
Naturally, these are all stereotypes and generalizations. Of course not everyone is like this. But it seems that, the more overweight and formerly overweight people I meet, the more I learn that they have had to keep their emotions in check. And so they release them through a medium that's fast, easy and safe. A medium with instant gratification, and with delayed consequences. And that medium, of course, is food.
We tamp down our sadnesses and repress our angers. We deny our jealousies and suffocate our shynesses.
But, you see, anger and the rest of them, of the many negative emotions, they aren't awful things. Not if they are wielded with some discretion and, dare I say it, grace. There is nothing wrong with being angry. It is as valid an emotion as happiness. In fact, they are all valid emotions, and I get ticked off when I see people so hell-bent on everyone drinking the happiness Kool-Aid that they will push everyone to smile, smile, smile even when life is just not dictating that.
What if you went to a funeral, where someone told the fresh, new widow or widower, oh, just, you'll feel better soon. Well, no. They usually don't. And while I think mourning for a decade and a half is excessive, if you can't feel sad at a funeral, when the heck CAN you?
And if you can't feel angry when you've been wronged or hurt or slighted or ignored or trampled on, when the heck CAN you?
I think fuses that are super-duper long get trampled on. I am not saying to walk around every day with a chip on your shoulder. I am not saying to alienate the people you love, or engage in violence or get yourself fired or arrested.
What I am saying is: give yourself permission to be angry. Permission to be sad. Permission to not get along with everyone. Permission to not always see things someone else's way.
A big part of this journey is seeing, and understanding, your own value. The wealth that is YOU. And that wealth comes with things that are sometimes not so nice. And they are as real and as important and valid as the things that are nice. You have to let those in, too. Because, once you do, you may find that you don't need to smother them under a covering of chips and nacho cheese quite so often. And you will also find that, if you get angry or sad or upset, the world will not go careening off its axis.
Let yourself get angry when you need to.