Jun 3, 2013 at 18:23:01
“Unfortunately, everything that we do to much up our personal and professional lives, our political leaders also do.
There are very important parallels between anger/vulnerability and the blame/demonizing that we see in Congress. The most difficult place to be vulnerable is in public settings with people we do not trust. So everybody stays guarded, angry, and ultimately unproductive/unhappy.
Jun 3, 2013 at 18:20:49
“Had to do 2 comments, because it was too long. Sorry I'm so long-winded, but there was much in what you shared.
Here's the end of my comment above:
Once last thought: you may or may not be able to go to this deeper place. Or not consistently. Judging yourself because now you know you shouldn't get angry will not help, and is irrelevant. It's just your mind looking for another distraction from your grief.
So have empathy for your grief, and have empathy for your growth process of moving beyond your anger. All this takes time.
Jun 3, 2013 at 18:20:06
“Wow. Thank you for sharing something so personal and honest. I have two boys and I can't really bear to imagine the feelings of losing one of them.
Your comment takes us several layers deeper in the section above about anger being a secondary emotion. Grief for a loved one is among the most the painful of emotions. For some of us, it can be too overwhelming to feel, so we bounce away from it. Anger is a way of expressing pain without feeling it too vulnerably.
So I find your husband's reflection that your anger is your grief and sadness an intriguing remark. It may also be that anger was the coping mechanism you learned growing up. (if helpful, you could read this recent blog post I did on how our childhood affects our leadership: http://learnaslead.com/2013/05/22/what-does-my-childhood-have-to-do-with-my-leadership/). It would then happen for you more generally with many events, and be more acute with this very painful one.
Why letting yourself feel your vulnerability, in the presence of your family, is crucial: anger pushes away; vulnerability draws in. If you let them see your real pain, a) they'll be able to better connect and empathize with you (and provide you with the emotional nourishment you really need), and b) you'll create space for them to touch and express their own grief. You give them a gift. Healing becomes possible.”
Jun 3, 2013 at 17:55:34
I really appreciate how you talk about yourself when you comment/tweet. Your remarks above remind me of how it is a life long journey, and a daily practice. The advice is easy; it's the practice in the moment to allow ourselves to go into that vulnerability that is uncomfortable.
My wife and I had a conflict this morning, related to a fight our two boys got in. There was a flare up, and right behind it, as we stepped out of blame and anger, was pain and vulnerability. I understood how she was feeling like a failure (managing our children's fight), and she shifted me immediately from frustration to empathy/tears. I got it.
We're often not talking about the real issue when we are angry -- so we aggravate instead of transform.