Bypassing anger

“Healing doesn’t take place until we surrender to our feelings and allow them to wash over us.” —Christiane Northrup, in The Wisdom of Menopause

When you’re angry or hurt, do you say, “I shouldn’t complain. After all, other people have it so much worse.”?

Women do this a lot. Christiane Northrup, in The Wisdom of Menopause writes: “Many women downplay their pain by comparing themselves to someone else who is much worse off.” She calls it “bypassing anger.” We tell ourselves that it’s selfish to feel sorry for ourselves. We shove our own pain aside to deal with the problems of others.

I felt this way last year when I lost my dog, Sasha. I really missed my dog. I work from home, so she was my shadow every moment of the day. I felt like I’d lost a limb. But, in the last few years, several of my close friends lost spouses. How could I voice my grief over a dog to someone who had lost their life partner? How selfish would that be?

One day, a friend who had lost her husband asked about Sasha. I said something like, “Oh, I really miss her, but I shouldn’t complain. After all, I know it’s not the same as losing a spouse.” She said, “My loss doesn’t make your loss any less real.”

Now, that’s a friend.

I breathed a long sigh of relief and surrendered to full grief over my little doggie.

“Comparing our path to that of someone else invariably takes us away from our own emotions and what we need to do with them.” Christiane Northrup, in The Wisdom of Menopause

If you hear yourself saying, “I shouldn’t complain. After all . . .”, stop. Catch yourself in that moment. Surrender to whatever it is. Allow your grief, your anger, your hurt to wash over you. Let the healing begin.

This doesn’t mean you don’t have empathy for the pain of others. It means you’ll be in a better place to support them.

Sasha's dog collar and my Weeping Yogi

Sasha’s dog collar and my Weeping Yogi

Advertisements

About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on November 8, 2013, in Gratitude, Inspiration, Living life to the fullest, spirit and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. thank you…….you gave me the ok to feel grief for the pain, and mobility issues I live with. Yes there are others worse off than me, but your story made me realize that it is ok to occasionally be sad for my own situation.

  2. I so agree. We have to honor our feelings and feel them. I don’t usually tell the story out loud much, maybe to one trusted friend and then I try to drop the story and just feel the feelings as long as I need to with no judgement.

    • I’m so glad you dropped into my blog. I’ve been following your inspirational tweets, and they always brighten my day. It’s true that we have to find the right balance between acknowledging our anger, grief, or hurt and wallowing in it. That’s not good either! Like the phoenix, always forward progress . . .

  1. Pingback: I’m Not Sorry – Smart Stunning Searching

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Zinormous Canvas

Make a Choice Adventourous Stranger

We Chase Success

*Let's Not Just Chase It, Let's Capture It Forever*

Water for Camels

Encouragement and Development for Social Workers and Those with a Mission of Helping Others

Awesomengers

Think हटK , Be AWESOME !!!

sandsoftime10

A peek into Megha's mind

Life via Window

Canvas of stories, fiction and feelings.

Nothing Gilded, Nothing Gained-Author Adrienne Morris

Books, Art and the Writing Life at Middlemay Farm

spirit sage

through the eyes of a profound beholder

The Millennial Pastor

An iPhone Pastor for a Typewriter Church

InvestInYourselfFirst!!

Be A Warrior 🎯 And Get Out From The Misconceptions Of Your Life!!

sophiawakens

awakening to the sacred feminine presence in our lives

Dr. Jen Gunter

Wielding the lasso of truth

and the words that echo..

a lot of words...

Hurry Up & Wait

Random thoughts and a collection of ideas, stories and photos

Alex on Faith

Growing in faith together!

Be Inspired

Journey from severe depression - Self healing - Acceptance - Learning - Growth - Connecting - Understanding - Being Unique

byluis7

« me arrodillo por las noches ante tigres que no me dejarán ser - lo que fuiste no será otra vez - los tigres me han encontrado pero no me importa. »

%d bloggers like this: