Any group that has had hate pitted against them in the form of words, laws, policies, violence and injustice has experienced anger and even rage. There is that feeling that surges inside of you so strong and deep that you can’t ignore it, but you are almost afraid of feeding it.
That’s the kind of anger that so many of us are living either full on with or it is the underscore for all our experiences. I’ll just call it ‘Legitimate Anger’. Yes, I am fully aware that everyone thinks their anger is legitimate, but follow me on this. For those of us with ‘Legitimate Anger’, I have questions. I mean these are the things I think about, because they are on my heart daily.
Is it healthy to hold on to this anger? Let’s face it, there’s a lot to be angry about so that could mean we are holding a lot of angry spaces within ourselves.
Is it denial and betrayal to let it go? This kind of anger has historical proof and needs accountability. The thought of letting it go carries a lot of weight.
Have we even been allowed to fully express our legitimate anger? I mean our full on, all out, deepest depths of anger? Is it scary or liberating for you to even think about expressing it full on?
If Legitimate Anger fuels us for the fight and is being used in a positive way, is there still a negative effect on our health? Does Legitimate Anger make us more susceptible to coming to anger quickly in small conflicts and common annoyances? Or does it allow us a place to put our anger so that we are more patient in the smaller conflicts?
Can we fully engage in self-care if we are consciously saving a space within us to hold ‘Legitimate Anger’?
What do we need to let go of if our intention is to hold on to our ‘Legitimate Anger’? Certainly we need to take care of ourselves even more diligently if we are from communities and identities that experience an onslaught of opportunities for anger to be flamed and fueled. Information comes out daily about the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health tolls the daily practices of hate take on us.
As allies to these communities, self-care is critical in keeping up the strength to support. If we are allies to these communities, self-care is just as critical too.
So we have to let go of some things if we are going to have ‘Legitimate Anger” and peace.
Can we even have both?
These are questions for all of us to give thought to.
Let me hear from you on this.