Written by Ema Borg Director of Unique Phoenix
In my first blog for this amazing project 1000 Ripple Effects I shared some of my story, the challenges I had in childhood and the feeling of disconnection it created.
Through these experiences I have continually sought out ways to not feel this way. What I discovered was that I would always have moments of feeling this way. So what I needed to do was figure out how to better deal with those times. I spent a few years researching emotions, mind set and I also took any kind of personal development that was offered. What I uncovered that was waiting within me was a simple way of looking at emotions. Taking the complications out meant that I could see the benefit of each of our base emotions.
I call it The Emotional Code. The 5 base emotions are Anger, Shame, Sorrow, Fear and Love.
Starting with Anger. For a long time I was angry, at myself, my family, teachers and well pretty much everyone.
Why was I so angry?
I was angry because I had been abused as a child and no one ever listened when I spoke about it.
I was angry because I did not feel as if I could trust anyone around me.
I was angry because I did not feel heard.
I was angry because I did not understand why this had happened, why anyone would hurt someone like that and why no one stopped it.
Right there in that last sentence is what Anger is all about. We get angry because there is lack of understanding, confusion, and a question that you can’t answer. Anger is one of my favourite emotions now, because it one of the most curious always providing an opportunity to learn about yourself and others.
Anger can come from what someone has said, or they have done. Sometimes you get angry at yourself. Not understanding why you have done or said something you feel is wrong, you can even get angry at yourself when you make a mistake.
Can you think about a time you felt angry?
Now I want you to ask yourself one question……Anger’s question - What Am I Not Understanding?
So simple, but effective. The next time feel angry, confused, frustrated or even wronged ask yourself that very simple question…
WHAT AM I NOT UNDERSTANDING?
When you ask yourself this question is does 2 things – first allows to pause before you react with an angry action and 2 helps you really find out what is underneath you feeling that way.
Of course you are not always going to understand why someone has done something that you don’t agree with, however taking a pause can get you back to a better space of clarity.
Anger is the most curious emotion, always wanting to learn. Asking angers question gives you the opportunity to become more aware.
With more awareness comes more choice and you always have a choice. You cannot control your emotions, but you can choose what action your take with them. It is not the emotion that has the greatest impact, but the action you take. Not only on those around you, but, most importantly on YOU.
Choice gives you the ability to feel empowered, raise your voice and be heard.
So the next time you feel that rising anger simply ask yourself – What am I not Understanding?
I love working with kids around this emotion, seeing the shift when they give themselves permission to feel angry but make a choice on how they react – now that is real awareness and gives them personal trust and power.
Next time I will be sharing Sorrow’s question, and how you can use this emotion to your benefit.
Thank you and remember….. BE YOU, FEEL GOOD – Ema xx