It can be a lifelong journey to alleviate suffering that stems from anger and aggression. This transformative process can guide you from aggressive emotions toward your deepest passions and greater peace. The accompanying guided meditation encourages a pause to foster awareness of anger and its resistant emotions, which is the beginning of helping prevent you from succumbing to reactive aggression. Cultivating a sincere curiosity can propel you into contemplation and help address the underlying needs that fuel your initial anger. The key is to liberate yourself from self-destruction and negativity and redirect your focus to fulfilling genuine needs. You will discover an intention that fosters a heart connection, sensitivity, trust, and love. The real treasure lies when you pause and sense the impulse to open your mind and heart.
This is a six-part process. The initial step involves awareness of your emotion. The second is the evolutionary act of self-care. The third step encourages containment and complete acknowledgment of your emotions. The fourth imperative step involves delving deep into your needs and utilizing the Introspective Guides on the AwarenessThatHeals.org website if needed. Step five emphasizes sincere communication of your needs with a sensitive tone being careful not to just express these with anger. The sixth step requires assessing your ability to move towards anyone to see if they are receptive and if they aren’t then to do inner work and develop the ability to find tolerance, peace and clarity by working it out inside yourself. Being sensitive to the capacity of the person to be receptive when you’re upset is crucial. The key lies in developing maturity by caring for yourself without placing blame. Countless individuals have employed this process to reshape their approach to aggression and unearth their inherent needs. This journey requires awareness, honesty, integrity, contemplation, and balance.
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Awareness That Heals, Episode 113.
The Awareness That Heals podcast helps its listeners learn to develop the capacity to have a more healing response to emotions and situations rather than becoming stuck. Your host, Robert Strock, has practiced psychotherapy for more than 45 years. He wrote the book “Awareness That Heals: Bringing Heart and Wisdom to Life’s Challenges,” to help develop self-caring and the capacity to respond in an effective way to life’s challenges, especially at times when we are most prone to be critical or to withdraw together, we will explore how to become aware of our challenging feelings and at the same time find alternative ways to live a more fulfilling and inspiring life.
Robert Strock (00:48):
Thank you again for joining us at Awareness That Heals where we, every time, do our very best to bring heart and wisdom to life’s challenges. We start every time with being aware of what is most difficult for us, recognizing these difficulties are universal and just being human whether we recognize them or not and how we can care for ourselves at these crucial times. Today we’re going to focus on a specific set of emotions to help guide you toward how you can transform anger and resistant emotions into intimacy and strength. And then we’re going to do a guided meditation that will help you see where and how you are angry and how to specifically move yourself in a direction of learning how to be angry in a harmless direction or in a harmless way and discover what you need, how to express your need rather than focusing on what you’re most disliking. This is a lobotomy. This is a huge change, so I want you to just pause for a second and really let that in. Instead of dumping and reacting spontaneously what some people would be called authenticity, by spontaneously expressing your feelings, it’s containing those aggressive feelings and finding a way to discover and express sensitively what you really need.
And also, when you do that, you become capable when someone else is angry, you become capable of starting to understand why they may have been angry and what they may have needed. So it’s a double bonus. It’s what much of humanity has not been able to do and developing this capacity has great implication not only for your quality of life and those you love, but also is a massive contribution by modeling what is needed in the world as well. This is designed to give you an experiential chance to do a guided meditation with you and the very center if you cooperate. And I’m asking you to cooperate, to give you practice how to face your ordinary sabotaging ways of being against someone or even something, and how to shift the focus to be for what is in everyone’s best interest.
This will naturally foster courage, intimacy, and strength. So let’s start out with asking yourself what is your most frequent way that you cause suffering that involves anger and emotions that are similar like irritation, impatience, frustration, annoyance, superiority, condescension, tightness, sarcasm, whatever’s your way. What’s your style? And you may have a few styles, but really look at your key relationships. If you think you are immune, take another look because none of us are immune. If there is someone immune, I haven’t met them, I’m not immune. I’m not close to immune. This is a work that is a lifetime work. All of us have ways we express a part of ourselves that have elements of fight in them. We’re going to take a look at a six-step process to move from being against what you dislike or hate to being passionate or at least sincere toward what you really need or what you really want. Finding a way to at least be harmless rather than acting on these aggressive feelings and creating direct suffering or suppressing the most volatile energy that we have is crucial to be able to find an alternative.
If we suppress our anger or these strong emotions, they’ll find endless creative ways to make hell not only in our personal worlds, but with those we love and in the world as a whole, as well. Being aware of our anger or any derivatives of anger deserves congratulations, and these are not ego congratulations. These are from the best part of ourselves saying you did some great work and you are now trustworthy and your life is going to have more dignity in it. It deserves great internal appreciation because most of us believe that we’re only angry or we’re only irritated or we’re only impatient because of what the other did or what the situation created in us. Our rationalizations are endless and even though they may be half true, they’re still disabling of us being able to connect with each other. Very rarely, at least in my experience, do most of us pause and really look and say, oh, this is my reaction, this is my state, this is my contraction. And it requires humility, courage, integrity and honesty to really take ownership at that level. This is where the following meditation is going to support you to discover what you really need rather than just being stuck in reactive aggression internally or externally.
Guided meditation is for so many people the best way to truly gain benefit in your response to personal challenges. As you invest and bring your own experience to the guided meditations, you’ll give yourself the best chance to change longstanding patterns from suffering toward a state of well-being, peace, and healing. It’s important to put yourself in a comfortable body position in a private space where you’re not disturbed. Turn off your phone and be ready to really be alert. So start off by letting yourself guide your attention towards your heart and whatever your word is for the smartest part of yourself, your intelligence and your wisdom, and let it feel to its best capacity, your sincerity that wants to become more aware stably of your anger and aggressive emotions. See how much you can feel your genuine curiosity to find your intention to move from anger or related emotions like impatience and frustration and enter the contemplation to find and fulfill the needs that made you angry in the first place. The key now is to feel the urge to liberate yourself from the self-destruction and negativity and pivot toward discovering and taking care of your most sincere needs that reduce or eliminate the anger.
And when I say eliminate the anger, I don’t mean that you won’t still have angry feelings inside. I mean eliminate the external expression or lessen the external expression of the anger itself. So pause and feel this desire to liberate yourself in this way. Feel the intention to not just be reactive and impulsive and pause. Let yourself feel this urge and reflect and not only as I’m speaking now, let this contemplation of “I do want to find a way to speak more from my needs than my reactive negativity for the rest of my life. I want to be freed to break the cycle and find the way to develop real strength and intimacy.” One of the keys here, and it’s sort of like the analogy of real estate, location, location, location. This is intention, intention, intention, pure intention, pure intention, pure intention, right at the point where your reaction is a retaliating intention. If you can see it’s a retaliating intention and that you would rather find a intention that has a chance of creating a connection, a heart connection, a sensitivity, a trust, a love, just pause and feel that urge opening your mind and your heart is gold.
So start off by becoming aware of your most frequent, recurring and disturbing aggressive emotions that have sabotaged intimacy and given you the illusion of being strong. In the past, you very likely might’ve said, well, I have to stand up for myself or This person’s impossible, and you write them off and you have forgotten to see you have this other capacity. See if you can identify the relationships and the patterns that have displayed this acting out or this suppression. And again, it may be anger, patience, frustration, irritation, intolerance or other similar emotions that have elements of fight in them. Can you find your most frequent emotions? So take a couple seconds and appreciate that you’re even looking. Let yourself visualize actual situations to ground your realization. You might have a particular memory, a few explosions or situations that really were intense. This is the first step as nothing can happen that creates stable change without awareness. The second step for making a dynamic and evolutionary practice is letting yourself now feel your aggressive emotion and ask yourself, how can you feel your wish or intention to care for yourself at the same time? Now, I’m going to say that again.
How can you feel your aggressive emotion and feel your wish to care for yourself at the same time? Now, notice I’m not saying care for the other. I’m saying bring caring into your relationship to yourself. So again, pause and allow two points of feeling together. This truly is a major turning point when you can both remember and execute a shift of intention while you’re in a state of this kind of negativity. Just caring for yourself while you’re being negative will create a motivation to be more sensitive. So see if you can visualize, oh, I’m impatient. Oh, I want to find a way to care for myself here. And of course ultimately it will lead toward caring for them, but at this moment I don’t want to judge myself because normally what happens is when we’re angry, we’re not aware of it, but we kind of know we’re shit. We kind of know that we’re judging ourselves. And what we don’t know is we have the capacity to care for ourself that can stabilize us. It doesn’t require getting rid of the anger, but adds the deep wish to bring caring. It’s like a secret potion of mixing two elements of the human psyche together when they are almost always compartmentalized.
So just ask, how are you doing with us now? Are you tracking? Are you following that these two seemingly opposing forces and powers, the anger and the wish to care for yourself are being experienced together in this second step. The third step or creating this pivot from being against to being for what you need is to follow your wish, to bring caring, which results in what can be called containment. This containment is the third step and means that you’re not going to act it out. You’re not going to suppress it. You’re going to look for a place where you’re safe to feel it fully in a harmless way. There’s no suppression and you’re really letting yourself feel the juiciness of your rage, your anger, your hate, your impatience, your intolerance. And it actually feels good if you let yourself do it because you’re not holding yourself back and you know you’re in a safe place. So you don’t have to be inhibited. Your wish to contain the aggression in a safe place, encourages you or can encourage you to feel it as fully as possible. And it’s one of the greatest acts of fostering peace we can learn how to do.
Do you understand this? It is experience your feelings fully in a way that isn’t going to create damage. And hopefully, as you pause, you see that containment does not mean suppression. Now most of our unconscious, because we’re so used to expressing, we’ll feel this as a suppression, but if we actually take the time to feel it fully, it’ll become more and more obvious as we practice it. This has nothing to do with suppression. It’s actually the opposite of it because you can afford to even exaggerate it. You will likely want to go to a private place, a car, a backyard, the beach, a park, a therapy office, your best friend, a counselor, and then let yourself go, oh, I hate this situation. I hate this person. And you let yourself have it. And while you’re doing that, you are amplifying it. And in this third step of containment you’re, you’re just starting to ask the question, what is it I really need? What did I need? What is it I needed? And ask yourself at the peak points of aggression, what is it that I needed the most? And you see how you can start to stabilize your question while you’re still in the peak of anger. Now, this is more than walking and chewing gum at the same time. This really is developing the capacity to feel a very profound, deep, destructive potentially feeling.
And at the same time doing your best to be contemplative and inquiring. This is the beginning of that. The third step doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve arrived, but you’re at least warming up. And once you’re able to ground yourself and find the original need that was violating in the first place, this is the fourth step. The fourth step is totally committed to going into what is it that I needed? Now pause and see if you can plant the seed. This is what I want to do and I want to remember this. I want to be able to do the first part, be aware of my need, do the second step, which is to care for myself, which itself is a revolution, evolutionary step as is the third step, which is to contain yourself and feel it fully. And the fourth step is really delving into what is it that I really need? And for those of you that have trouble finding your need, definitely have that list awarenessthatheals.org, the Introspective Guides and download it because you will be able to find your needs on that list for sure.
This is a time of great permission to feel and to reflect and to really take it deeply enough where you are able to find what you need. Once you’ve discovered what you need, and that might be more than one need, then you go onto the fifth step. And that is, how do I communicate this as sensitively as possible without polluting the expression of my need with the anger, which is a very, very high danger, you might figure out, well, what I needed was for you to be more sensitive to me. So you might say, well, what I needed was you’d be more sensitive to me. But then you’ve just dumped your anger while you’re expressing your need. So it requires really looking in the fifth step at what your tone is, being sincere, being present, and as much as possible, communicating sincerely. You give that your best effort at least three times because there might be a few different ways that you do that. And this is only the fifth step when you believe that there’s a slight chance that the person can hear you if you communicate sensitively. So it’s a little subtle because the fifth step sometimes is bypassed when you’re with someone when you know there’s no chance whatsoever to communicate because they’re completely defensive. So there’s an awareness and an evaluation. Am I dealing with someone that there’s a chance if I change my tone, if I realize I want to reach them, if I’m in touch with some of my heart and sensitivity, is it possible I can reach them.
When I am warning you about the dangers of expressing your need with anger, my experience is at least 90% of people that do it in the first stages, that little anger sneaks in. And so you want to really learn how much that’s likely to be occurring. And for example, if that’s the case, you can say something like, I’ve had to work through a lot of anger and I’m going to do my best to not have it sneak in, but it probably will. But I promise you what’s more important to me is this sincere set of needs or this need. So, don’t be naive that you can just do this and clean up the anger because that anger’s going to still be there back in the background. The question is whether you can really transmute that anger into your sincerity, into your heart, into really being present and have elements of caring. And so then we can move on to the sixth step. If in your determination the person that you’re angry at is absolutely not possible to communicate with and you see that that’s the case, you need to ask yourself, well, how can I take care of myself given that communication is impossible? And I don’t want to be bottled up with frustration and anger. How do I move toward a tolerance or an acceptance?
And for many people, this is where they’re just not able to move on to the next step because it’s quite difficult. You need to evaluate, is this relationship itself important enough that it overrides the specific violation of needs, and that will make it easier to accept and tolerate. So you need to have a whole perspective of who you’re dealing with. If it’s your wife or your husband and they’re not a good communicator and they do certain things, but you know what, they’re a great soul, they support you in all these other ways, then you need to move toward tolerance and acceptance because the relationship is still worth it in your evaluation. Now, this requires tremendous maturity to realize that sometimes it’s going to require inner work and not outer work of recognizing that the person you’re dealing with has enough offerings that it warrants resolving it internally that this one need isn’t being met. This could also be your boss and you recognize, you know what, I need to resolve it because the person is just closed. And if that’s the case, you need to see that the tolerance, the acceptance is incredibly mature. You’ve discerned, it’s a part of the whole that’s not critical.
And so your work is internal. If on the other hand you realize it is critical, then your choice is going to be to set a boundary and say, you know what? If it’s a boss, you may have to quit the job. If it’s really that abusive or critical, you might have to set a boundary with your partner. Maybe you’re going to sleep in the other bedroom. Maybe you’re going to let them know that you’re profoundly affected and maybe it’s going to lead to a separation. But you want to be clear it’s not a bluff, it’s not an impulsive reaction. It’s a deeply contemplated reaction and a perspective of how important is this need relative to all the rest of the needs in my relationship? One of the common denominators of really resolving this sixth step is you realize you’re not interested in blaming, you’re just interested in taking care of yourself in a wholesome way. And what you’re going to do is either set the boundary or you’re going to come to a mature acceptance. That’s not a compromise if you’re receiving plenty of good things. So this six-step process is a way of being very specific about whether you can accept or need to reject. You’ve made your sincerest effort and have succeeded communicating at least three times in what you know is a sensitive way, and you recognize that all the other prior steps are needed to prepare you for where you are. This is a major evolutionary process that not many people have mastered unless they’ve been exposed to this or something very much like this. And it has been by far the most popular video in prior meditations. Hundreds of thousands of people have used this to reconstruct how they deal with their own aggression and how they can discover their own needs.
So I really encourage you to take this into your heart to recognize this is not a, I listened to the meditation once and I got it, and that it’s so crucial to be able to bring it down to the level of your own needs, your own vulnerability, and also your own contemplation of the relative importance of the need in relationship to the gestalt of all of your needs. So if you’ve gone this far, I honor you for the sincerity of the soul search. This truly does require awareness, honesty, integrity, contemplation, balance, and if you’ve taken it this far, you have changed your life. When you have aggressive feelings, you now know how to turn it into wholesome needs that are not just self-centered, they’re relatable. You’re taking in the other person with you. And my deepest prayer, my deepest wish for you and for the world and for the country that is so troubled because it cannot do this, is you take this on as a practice that will allow you to deal with even the most difficult, aggressive feelings and find the source of not only your needs, but how it fits into the needs of the people around you and how close they are and how you can best take care of your life and life itself.
I wish you dedication, and I thank you very much for listening all the way through.
Where does this leave you? Are you in touch? And do you have a sense of the high stakes, the incredibly high stakes of being aware and developing your capacity to dedicate yourself to moving from being angry against a significant other and communicating your needs in a positive way or coming to a mature acceptance? Can you see how this opens up the likelihood of you being a peacemaker of you being someone who’s really capable of intimacy, of you being someone that is operating from your integrity? Can you see the potential? And if you glimpse the potential, then it’s very likely you’re going to want to dedicate yourself to this. Hopefully, this inspires you to be captivated with curiosity as to how you can give yourself reminders and deepen your choice to wake up your awareness at these critical times of when you’re angry or have similar aggressive feelings.
You deserve your own trust and love when you’ve been able to convert your deepest angers and frustrations to needs and can go through this whole process. And that means because aggressive feelings are almost always the most difficult, that no matter what you feel, you’re going to be able to convert the feeling to a need that’s sensitively presented to the other. And by doing that, you’re also relating to their needs. This is the pinnacle of being able to love and be loved, to be a member of the world that’s supporting peace. And I wish this at this perilous time in our world that all of you take this to heart. And thank you so much for your attention.
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