Friday, February 5, 2010

On women and anger

Today was another day when a theme just converged. I went to a moms' group in the morning, where the discussion was about dealing with frustration and anger. One thing we talked about was the positive side of anger, the ability for our anger to give us the energy and courage to make a change that needs to happen. Then I came home and read this:

Most of my life I'd run from anger as something that good daughters and gracious ladies did not exhibit. Perhaps the thing most denied to women is anger.


Yet anger needs not only to be recognized and allowed; like...grief, it eventually needs to be transformed into an energy that serves compassion. Maybe one reason I had avoided my anger was that like a lot of people I had thought there were only two responses to anger: to deny it or to strike out thoughtlessly. But other responses are possible. We can allow anger's enormous energy to lead us to acts of resistance...Anger can fuel our ability to challenge, to defy injustice. It can lead to creative projects, constructive behavior, acts that work toward inclusion. In such ways anger becomes a dynamism of love. - Sue Monk Kidd, Dance of the Dissident Daughter

As I am rather defective in my ability to express anger constructively, I worry about passing this defect on to my daughter. Oh how well I remember feeling totally powerless as a child, and particularly as a girl. I recognize the emotions and behaviors in Alex, and I want to give her more than I had. Better resources, better understanding, and better insight. Praying for grace and wisdom.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

Serendipitous timing for me to read this entry today after boxing around my own anger this morning. When I finally put my finger on the source, I decided to confront him (wonderful, gracious him who doesn't set out to be vexing). I voiced not my anger but the pain that I had dug up underneath it (is pain/loss what's at the bottom of most of our anger?). The result was very, very good. Then I read your entry before going to bed and smiled. Thanks, Sarah.