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Integrity, Injustice & Channelling The Energy Of Anger

Updated: May 10

I harboured a lot of anger as a child and teenager, which is why I have always been active, I think. I had a difficult time putting words to the feelings that would feel like raging fire inside me; being active gave me an outlet to express misunderstood anger and frustration. From a very young age, I could not bear witnessing – nor experiencing – injustice. I always had a strong sense of righteousness, and I was never afraid to voice my thoughts, nor stand up for what I believed to be fair. I truly thank my mother for this quality; she trusted my sister and me from a very young age, to not only let us be who we wanted to be, but to feel confident about who we were as children. Despite all her best efforts, she was unable to protect us from certain things. As a result, my sister and I experienced our first injustice at an age when it is extremely challenging for the brain to fathom and process certain concepts – an age when children should not have to be exposed to this kind of injustice. So, I struggled for a long time with all the emotions that stemmed from the situation and its aftermath: I felt powerless and unable to put words to the sensations. I had freed myself and my sister by telling my mum what was happening, yet there was no justice. We were left with the devastating truth of what had taken place, each trying to find a way to navigate the unimaginable.

It took a decade of anger and frustration for me to understand that I was the only person who could give myself what I was looking for: peace of mind. After spending so much time hoping that justice would come one day, I took matters in my own hand and went to look for it. I thought that, perhaps, if given the opportunity, people would rise to the occasion to do the right thing. They did not.

What I got that day was more than I expected: liberation. After the initial feelings of sadness and anger, I understood that I would have to forgive and let go, not for them, for me, so that I could free myself from the anger that was slowly – but surely – consuming me. Most people deny, dismiss, or even push their anger away (and further down into themselves by doing so). Being prone to anger is not something people generally boast about. Nonetheless, I believe that anger is a very powerful and misunderstood energy, with the potential to bring on powerful change, if channelled properly. I think that, many times, we fall victim to the surge of intense sensations that anger carry. Yet, if we take time to acknowledge the anger we feel, and why we feel it, our anger can be the driving force behind incredible shifts in our consciousness. That is what happened to me that day when I decided to confront the perpetrator of my injustice, and was faced with denial and blame: my anger became self-empowerment.

I still carry anger, I think it is an inherent part of who I am. What happened to me as a child – and the anger it generated – will always be a part of me; the difference is that it no longer consumes me. Today, in meditation, I understood that the intense feelings that come over me when faced with injustice is my inner child, perhaps still yearning for the justice she never got. And why shouldn't she? She deserves it, so I let her feel that anger. I do not shy away from it; on the contrary, I have learned to welcome it, acknowledge it so that I can process it and use it as a catalyst for positive action. I am in no way saying that this is an easy endeavour, but it sure beats the other option: denying my anger and keeping it inside myself, consuming me from within. Anger is also why I am not afraid of standing up for myself, for what I believe to be right, and for any injustice I – or other people – may experience. I am an extremely honest person, be it with other people or – and more importantly – with myself. Along with justice, integrity is something I cultivate within myself and admire in others. I say that I admire integrity in others because, through personal experiences, I now know that it is a rare quality to nurture and uphold. It demands courage and effort to stay true to one's values, especially when faced with injustice and disrespect. Equally, it demands courage to acknowledge when I have done something which may not have been in line with my values. But I would rather be honest about everything – what I am proud of, and what I am not – than hide behind a superficial and empty shell projecting the illusion of perfection. Nobody is perfect, nor should we be, but there is an extreme amount of grace in recognising one's flaws instead of lying to oneself.

For me, integrity is an act of love and self-respect: towards myself and towards others.

I think I must have been a warrior in a previous life :); that is what I feel like I do when I am faced with injustice: I feel my inner warrior rising from the fire within, ready to take on anything and anyone. And you know what? I wouldn't change it for the world.

open-hearted warrior

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