What does that word mean to you in this moment?
How does it make you FEEL?
I find my relationship with and understanding of words changes, shifts, expands and evolves over time and with growth. It's something that continues to fuel my curiosity about my own personal development path.
These days when I think about peace I also think about rage. Weird, huh? Well, not really. I'll explain. You see, the reason I think about rage is because I'm reflecting deeply on what kept me away from peace for so long.
By definition, rage is the expression of uncontrollable (and - I think - denied) anger. And boy, did I have A WHOLE LOT of that! I, like most, didn't know how to express my anger and co-exist with it, so that anger turned into rage.
What did my rage look like? At first it looked like a perfect little girl who was just super type-A; a little bit of a control freak who had OCD. As with anything, over time my denied anger fueled my rage into other forms of violence...my tipping point...
Hmm, maybe it was many years later when I'd be out with my friends, having a good time and one too many drinks. Sounds normal for a girl in her 20s but then something destructive would happen.
I would SNAP!
Yup, little super-friendly, picture-perfect, put-together Lindsey would totally lose her sh*t.
It usually manifested in the form of going completely batsh*t on a male who would say something crass or disrespectful after being "turned down" by me or one of my friends. I would find myself literally exploding on this other human. Taking all of my bottled-up, pushed-down, ignored anger and throwing it all over this innocent stranger. Sure, he might have said something rude but it probably never warranted the reaction I gave. It was my crap surfacing...not his. He just triggered it. That my friends, was total rage and displaced anger. And that sh*t was not pretty.
I would inevitably wake up the next morning full of regret and embarrassment over my behavior. Which led me to stuff more shame into my cute cross-body Chanel bag. *See the destructive pattern here...*
That is when I formed a good relationship with REGRET. I realized how grateful I was for the feeling of regret! Regret helped me acknowledge that something wasn't right with me. It allowed me to bring awareness to myself, and that is when I claimed my responsibility for my rage.
I started taking steps to check in instead of checking out...and that meant being super aware of and disciplined with my alcohol intake. Even though I wasn't addicted to alcohol, I was still abusing it. So I took the reigns back and decided it was time to figure out how to sit with my anger and finally deal with it. I WANTED PEACE.
In order to get that peace, I had to fix and finally deal with my internal struggles and anger. I needed to stop ignoring it and pretending like it was just going to go away. I had to address it. All of it. And that was SO hard. It still is. I just have more tools and better ways of coping now.
I've become comfortable with anger. It's kind of become a friend instead of an enemy. When it comes up I no longer deny it. I acknowledge that it is there and then address it accordingly, with respect, not rage (most of the time ;) I am still human).
Doing this has allowed me to take back my peace. The inner peace that was always there but that I wasn't able to spend any time with because I was just too busy suppressing my anger and dealing with rage.
So that's what I've learned so far.
If I spend too much time denying an emotion, then it will manifest in destructive ways.
These days I commit to living a more beautiful life and for me this is what it looks like. It looks differently for everyone; that's where the beauty lies. I give my emotions a voice. I address them (no matter how hard and uncomfortable it is) instead of denying them. And I love the fact that this brings me more peace.
What brings you peace? Are you denying any feelings or emotions that are keeping you from your peace? Let me know in the comments below. I honor you in advance for your vulnerability, courage, and truth!