In light of ALL worldly events that occur out of human “doing” I wanted to write this to put out some ideas that I know to be true from my work, speaking with my colleagues, my close friends and to be quite honest, from simply witnessing the insidious slurs in recent world (human) events.
It has to do with these three words: fear, anger and hate.
Let me explain.
1 > Fear is not bad.
It’s a basic biological emotion.
You see, the word “fear” has become a buzzword in wellness, health and self-improvement circles. And it’s getting thrown around (carelessly I might add) like cheap confetti.
‘Let go of your fear.’
‘Free yourself from fear.’
‘Feel no fear.’
(A recent click on Amazon with the word “fear” gives you a plethora of titles!)
But without fear, without this basic biologically body-based emotion, we’d have no signals to let us know that something isn’t safe.
We’d not know when to run, or fight, or play dead. We need it.
Here’s where we get into trouble though – we get into trouble when we FREEZE alongside of our fear, and stay frozen.
I call this Frozen Fear.
When we get stuck here, in Frozen Fear, it’s really tough to have good solid “correct” internal knowledge of what is safe and/or unsafe — so we may “think” we need to be afraid of something that actually isn’t a threat to us.
Or, we don’t realize that something might not be safe, and we get closer to it, and before we know it, we are back in a situation of threat/helplessness.
(We call this re-traumatization in the trauma world.)
2 > Anger *IS* a biological necessity.
Imagine if a mama grizzly bear didn’t have an anger response when a dangerous predator was approaching her precious wee cubs? Or, if she saw that predator, but didn’t express her anger?
Kind of impossible to imagine right?
Like fear, anger is critical for us.
Yet, we as humans, have lacked an apprenticeship to know how to feel and process this potent emotion and body experience.
And, we don’t have it as simple as the animals in the wild. The threats out in the wilderness are much more black and white. In the ‘human species wilderness’, there are more shades of grey. (And purple, red, blue, green…etc.)
Bottom line is this: we’ve been taught that any expression of anger, and the intensity that comes with it, is bad. Many of us, have either a) a default that works to repress and suppress it, or b) a default that goes the ‘out of control’ route and it turns into rage, or even worse hate.
3 > Hate is not a biological emotion*
From a humanistic perspective, and from what I’ve witnessed, hate is a by-product of the faulty metabolism of our basic survival energies; the emotions of fear and anger.
When we can’t process our fear and the intense emotions that follow – meaning, anger and/or sadness – these emotions get denied, repressed, suppressed,
(Um, hello western society that teaches us to ‘Suck it up’ – ‘Put on your game face’ – ‘I’m fine’ – ‘Be positive’ – ‘Forgive’ – ‘Don’t get mad’ – ‘etc’)
All that biological ENERGY gets deflected outwards.
THE RESULT = YOU LOOK FOR SOMEONE or SOMETHING (or a country, or religion) TO BLAME.
As my husband said to me not so long ago, when we were chatting about this topic and the recent rise of “hate” energy towards the refugee crisis and the attacks in Paris:
“Anger, coupled and intertwined with fear that’s never been felt and properly processed, and is stuck inside of a human being, turns into hate.”
You see, fear and anger are on a continuum. They need each other.
Enter The Spiritual Bypass
Because we have done our own version of atrocities, by not teaching our people, our kids, our cultures (humanity) how to effectively process this continuum, our fear and anger, we’ve gotten into this pickle of what we call hate.
Actually, we *think* we are teaching this.
But from what I’ve seen, we’ve done a brilliant job at managing it cleverly with a lot of calming practices that deflect the intensity, or addictive practices that numb it out and cause avoidance.
The unrefined rise of consciousness via mind-body “everything” can actually keep us far from our real internal situations, sensations and feelings.
And yes, I generalize here… I have many colleagues, myself included, who teach ‘mind-body’ from a very different slant that includes the biology, the environment in relationship to the biology etc., but we are the exception right now, not the norm.
So, if you are using meditation and/or some other form of compassion-based practice to try and calm yourself down without FIRST properly processing, metabolizing and integrating the agitation, the anxiety, the fear, that anger, then it’s only adding more toxicity to our world.
(Remember, each one of us is a small cell of this planet, and keeping all that “energy” inside of us, in my belief, is a version of environmental pollution.)
Some have called this unrefined version of consciousness, and the practices of the mind-body that go with it ‘spiritual bypassing’ and I would agree with those that write about it.
So, back to the current state of affairs in our world…
YES, there’s a lot to be pissed about right now, and it might SEEM that to counteract all the crap that’s floating around that we need to instill lots of calming and nice soothing actions as a first line of defence, but fuck that.
If there’s an energy inside of you that is pissed about things, be it globally, or right in your backyard – process that shit.
Don’t stuff it down.
Then, and only when, you have processed it, THEN sit.
Then. Be. Still.
Because it’s really hard to sit and be still when all that unprocessed emotional energy is still floating around inside of you.
(This is why so many people find it hard to sit still and meditate. To calm the mind. The system isn’t ready for this advanced practice – and we can fall into a trap, by trying to force it to calm down when it isn’t ready for it.)
For me, my version of mindfulness is far from the mind: it’s to be in my biological birthright (my body) and FEEL my emotions, my sensations. To work out the energy that’s inside so it doesn’t turn toxic. Cause it will if I don’t. I won’t deny or deflect that bubbling up of primal energy. No matter how awful, disgusting or sickening it may feel.
How about you?
How’s it going for you as we see our world become even more divided?
— I actually believe we need to swing far over to a greater divide before we can swing back and find harmony. And I do wholeheartedly believe that processing a lot of our collective fear and anger properly is going to be a massive help to the world consciousness and its healing.
Here are some basic questions to consider:
1 >> How have you kept your primal energies and survival instincts at bay over the years?
2 >> How have you maybe put on a happy face when in fact you are dying inside and in massive emotional turmoil? How has this helped? How has this harmed you? Did you learn this from a very young age (hint: most of us have)?
3 >> Do you know how to work with those primal biological energies?
4 >> Or, do you, like so many, simply shove them down deep and hope they just disappear and dissolve away? (They won’t, by the way. They’ll come back in some form that’ll be toxic to you.)
To end on a note that might seem cliche, but is fact: we are all one.
People are always asking the question: what can I do to help these world crises when I’m just one single person.
Here’s that answer: Take care of the toxicity that might be sitting and seething inside of you. Do what it takes to get knowledgeable about working with your biological energies. This will help our planet.
It’s really that simple.
The hard part is having the guts to confront and experience the emotions and sensations you’ve left behind and ignored.
But, it’s totally doable. And I highly recommend it.
Would you like some help?
To start easily and slowly – I’d love to suggest one of my more popular resources and guides “How To De-Stress in 7 Steps.” This guide is an easy entry point into learning a bit more about your biology and those stored up survival energies that I keep talking about (you know, those scary emotions of fear and anger) – plus, there’s a practical step-by-step exercise that you can try out so you can start to process stressors a little more effectively from today forward so you are less likely to store ‘em up in your body.
This FREE resource helped a lot of people make more sense of this crazy complex world.
Give it a try.
And, thanks for reading this.
* Well over a decade ago I read about the Gombe Chimpanzee War documented by primatologist Jane Goodall in her book A Reason For Hope, A Spiritual Journey. This war shocked her community of fellow researchers. And although this is evidence that war, hate and general evil exists beyond the human species, I think it’s safe to assume (or at least I will for now) that the majority of the mammalian animal kingdom, do not match up to the levels of human war, hate and evil that exist today. There was also some speculation that her research was causing a certain level of stress amongst the chimpanzee tribes, putting these animals “out” of their natural way of living. But that’s kinda what we are up against and confronting as humans: our stress levels are so high, and we aren’t bringing them down.