Channeling Anger Into Creativity
We are multi-dimensional beings. We live on many different levels at the same time. We live on the energetic level, molecular level, biological or physical level, mental level, emotional level, spiritual level, and on and on. Many times events happen on one level that goes unnoticed for a long time. The classic example would be when someone hurts our feelings and we don’t adequately deal with the emotion and it is buried, resulting years later in disease. We don’t adequately deal with the emotion for many reasons, cultural training (children should behave), social training (women must deflect their true feelings for be perceived as bitchy) or circumstantial (lack of time or place to respond). Basically, the quality of our life is based on energy and how we transform energy that confronts us.
I was raised in post WWII southern US, the son of a veteran. In fact, he was a USMA (West Point) graduate, one of the most highly trained killing machines in the world. As with many veterans, he was not trained what to do with all of the emotions that he was trained to suppress as a military officer and did not deal with them well. That translated into bursts of rage and fear that rained upon those less powerful in his hierarchy (me). How people deal with their suppressed emotions can have a really traumatic effect on those who love them. For anyone that is the target of a burst of anger it feels like a bomb going off next to them and the traumatic damage that bomb creates can be devastating.
How do you handle anger or fear? I am sure that some would agree with me that many times it feels like energy welling up inside of us and we don’t know what to do with it. Many of my clients describe the feeling as if they were about to explode, and they can’t help it when they do. People scream and shout, push or hit, and they don’t know why. Many times it is a random event that is unexplained but lethal. We have to learn what to do with the energy of suppressed feelings, and the energy of negative emotions. What we do with this energy can be hugely creative and artistic or destructive and damaging.
We are the creator of our world. What we do with the energy that moves through us determines what kind of world we live in. We have to be aware of the fact that we are not the energy that we feel going through our body, we can control it. It is like a painter who thinks they are made of paint. We are not the paint, we are not the energy that we feel. We are the awareness, the creator that uses these materials to create the world we live in.
We can create a world that is magical and adventurous or we can create a world that is hard and unyielding. The biggest problem we have is learning the consequences of our actions. When we mow the grass or paint the house we see instantly the results of our actions. When we have a bad day and snap at a neighbor, we may not see the results of that energy flow until years later and we may not even remember doing it and wondering “why did that happen?” Furthermore, our memories are usually subjective, we remember feelings and thoughts much better than we remember events. We remember being scared or happy, we don’t remember exactly what was said and in what order. So the end result is often lost on us and we don’t learn from our actions. It is like a sculptor who only works on his stone once every ten years. He may forget what he was trying to do and so the finished product is not what he started out to do.
The creative process requires that we intimately know the materials (energy) we are using. A sketch artist must know how his pencil will make a mark depending on how much pressure he uses. Parents must know how their anger or discipline will mark a child (or another human being) depending on how much pressure they use. If people don’t know how to use the materials they are working with, whether it is a paintbrush or their words and actions, then they probably won’t like the end result. In order to get what you want, you have to be aware of what you are doing and how you are doing it.
It is naïve to think that you can create what you want and not be aware of how you affect other people. We have to pay attention on what words we use and how we use them. Are we critical, sarcastic or negative or are we supportive, uplifting and helpful? A wise saying is “keep your words sweet because you may have to eat them one day”. Are you patient and peaceful or does the energy in your body make you bounce off the walls like a cartoon character? How you use the energy that you feel in your body determines the kind of world you experience.
It is very difficult to be calm when your body feels like it is about to explode. This is why we have to detach from our thoughts, feelings and emotions. All we have to do is imagine that we are standing beside of ourselves and observing. We can carry that further and imagine that we are a third person watching the person who is watching us. The farther we can detach from the feelings, emotions and thoughts, the more control we will have over the energy that is in us. When we practice this, then the feelings, thoughts and emotions that we have when we don’t get what we want will calm down and we will be able to create what we want, not suffer what we created when we were out of control.
I have discovered that when I detach from my thoughts, feelings and emotions, I get really, really calm. There is no stress, anxiety or fear when I am watching from a neutral place. When I can get into that place, I discover that energy will start flowing in a direction that I need it to flow in order to get what I want. Artists often describe their creative process as if the final result created itself, whether it is a painting, a song, or a sculpture. That is the effect of creative energy, as long as we control the energy and not the other way around.