It’s so easy to decide that the feelings we have when moving through a divorce process are “wrong.” It’s also natural to try to bottle up and manage those “wrong” feelings as we attempt to steer toward our end-goal emotions. I wanted so badly to accept and feel grateful for my co-parent—and myself. But I found the paradox to be that rage was the only transportation available toward the state of mind and heart I was seeking.
When I actually allowed myself the rage I had been denying myself for a lifetime, I thought it would never end. For three months, I despised the man I married, I was tortured with revenge fantasies, I felt like the magician pulling out mile after surprising mile of knotted anger scarves from the well of her throat. How had I managed to suppress so much emotion without even noticing until now?
What I learned from allowing myself to fully inhabit that darkness in which I was lost, terrified, unrecognizable was that it was the only way through to the light. In the end, it was my rage that organized me back into the idea of a self. Rage was my only possible companion in making this crossing.
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What if you were to look at rage without judgement and without trying to control it? What if you were to trust that is the transportation you need to the other side—and that the bigger the bonfire, the faster and more efficient the crossing? What if you were to make it an art project–and use this to investigate your rage deeply? I am not suggesting that you share this rage with your co-parent, or anyone beyond your journal, your therapist and maybe a very trusted friend. But I am suggesting that you let yourself own it, inhabit it, and relax into it. Your rage is speaking from a true place in you that hasn’t had your ear for quite a while. Let it know that you are listening.
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