Friday, February 28, 2014

Unresolved Anger And Low Self-Esteem

I know February 26 has already come and gone but I wanted to share this affirmation from that day with you. The information reminds me of how I used to be before realizing that I had to feel my anger in order to heal. What I didn't know until much later was that, as the affirmation below says, anger that we stuff, deny and don't express can harm us. We think we are burying the anger deep inside of us but the feelings refuse to stay buried. Mine came out as rage when someone said or did something to set me off. Let me know what this affirmation says to you.
"February 26
Unresolved anger is often the hidden source of low self-esteem.
                                                               ---Bill Bartlow

What we don't see, we can't understand. What we don't understand, we can't influence. And when that blind spot relates to the source of our self-esteem, the results can be devastating.

Hurt that has been denied, mislabeled, or unrecognized still exists, no matter how long ago we were wounded. In fact, such hurt---that is the hard core of all anger---is all the more potent for not being recognized or for being called something else. The trouble with burying something alive is that it will devour us from the inside. Buried does not necessarily mean dead.

At the core of much low self-esteem is just such a hard knot of anger. Anger over the way we were treated as children, rights that were denied, kindnesses that should have been there for us but were not. Love, encouragement, support, perhaps even the basic safety that everyone has a right to---none of these were to be had. Buried, that collection of hurts turned into anger and seeped out sideways. Sometimes the seeping turns into a flood. Often it becomes simply a prevailing state of being---we are just always angry, always hostile, always operating with a short fuse. That doesn't make us very attractive people. To say the least, we're not fun to be with. And so the anger over our long-ago hurt generates loneliness and rejection even today. Lest our tomorrows be affected as well, let us own up to our buried anger.

Hidden anger can kill me. I must recognize it and address it."

From the book Believing In Myself: Daily Meditations for Healing and Building Self-Esteem written by Earnie Larsen & Carol Hegarty, A Fireside Book Published by Simon & Schuster: New York, NY. 1991.


Lynn C. Tolson said...

Patricia, great blog post. Thank you.

Patricia Singleton said...

Lynn, Thank you.