Exasperation, animosity, anger, fury… are they shades of the same emotion or absolutely different feelings? Do they make an overpowered victim of you, or make you explode as an uncontrollable volcano destroying everything around? Do you lump them together and don’t want to look at them. Or maybe you are able to recognize them, differentiate between them and use their strength and power?
You may surrender to your anger without using your will, but you may also observe it and notice that it is an important signal. Signal to defend your borders. Signal that tells you that now or in the past they have been broken. You may let it overpower you, but you may also use it’s energy to protect your integrity of ego and self-esteem.
In the old days people used to seat around the fireplace in the evening and using their imagination and experience told stories. Stories that always were connected to different aspects of their lives, especially to these most important ones like emotions, amongst them anger.
We still can use deep imagery to touch these moments when anger arised inside us, or when somebodies else anger affected us. We may look back and see what seed planted such a big powerful emotion. We can look at it from the distance and see how mighty and full of possibilities it is. We may learn how to use it in the way we use fire. Fire that may burn you, but if you know how to use it you can tame it like a wild animal.
We all know that if there is too little fire – soup will be underdone, if there is too much – the soup will boiled over. But if you manage to find the proper amount of fire you can cook the best dish in the world.
Anger may cause destruction, but may also defend. Anger has many different aspects and consists of many mixed emotions. Deep imagery has an ability to assume them all and through inner journeys and telling stories shows how vast is wisdom of these feelings and the whole human nature.
Here are stories about two different journeys with an animal of anger – story of Renata about a Shark and a Rabbit, and story of Justina about Dolphin and Jackal. Listen to them and maybe you’ll find your own story of anger, fury, irritation…
The story of Shark and Rabbit
I asked for an Animal of Anger and there were two of them. The Rabbit was small and frightened. He was sitting inside the circle and his eyes were wide opened. The Shark was swimming around the borders of the circle, checking if they are safe. The Rabbit was still frightened, but the Shark was speaking calmly “It is safe, don’t worry, it is safe.” Rabbit wanted to be as big and strong as Shark and he also would like to be able to get so angry, but he completely did not know how to do it. The Shark still repeated that he doesn’t need it, because Shark takes care about his safety. The Shark is dangerous and not to be trifled with, but he will always warn before he attacks. The Rabbit jumps and jumps as if he was a provocator. But the Rabbit has also great amount of patience and when somebody is angry with him, he listens with deep understanding. On the contrary the Shark is not able to be so patient. Each of them has a unique place to be. They cannot change their places, if they do then the conflict arises – the Shark becomes more aggressive and unpredictable if he’s inside the circle and the Rabbit is too weak to be at the borders. But if they stay at their places and Rabbit is inside the circle, he may grow and then he becomes a wise and big-hearted therapist. He needs to feel safe and well guarded by the Shark and then the Rabbit starts to grow and becomes really self-confident, strong animal, deeply tolerant for others.
The Story of Jackal and Dolphin
I found the Jackal who was living in the desert. Jackal was sick, his fur was molting as if he had eczema. He was weak and needed help. “How can I help you?” I asked. “Lick me” answered Jackal. Ups… I thought to myself, how will I lick this sick body, humans don’t do such things… and in this very moment my body turned into the jackal’s body. I started to lick sick animal on his skin and he became more and more healthy and strong. When his skin was absolutely healthy we started to run towards the water. There we met Dolphin who invited us to swim togther with him. We were swimming together into the deep water and suddenly I felt that we have to escape, that there is some danger beside our back and we have to swim fast in the only one, safe direction. Choosing good direction was extremely important and there was only one where you could escape. Beside me there was Jackal and in front of me the Dolphin was swimming. Dolphin was frightened as much as I was, but he reassured me that it is all right to feel like this, that it is natural reaction when the danger comes and that it’s natural that you move in the direction that you feel safe and open. He reminded me that dolphins are animals that love to play and have fun, but sometimes they also have to be very serious in some situations and escape very fast. In this moment I could feel like the whole water pushes against me and how strongly I have to move the whole of my body so as I could get out of this situation and did not allow the water to crush myself. I felt great anger arising in my body helping me to swim faster, to push off, to sustain my own continuity and finally find a safe place somewhere. I could feel this huge energy of anger and how good it is when you are able to derive of it. And immediately Jackal united with the body of Dolphin and only Dolphin remained. He showed me that this water in which we still were was the womb of the mother. “Here you experienced your anger for the first time…” he said. I couldn’t understand it but suddenly I could feel that membranes of the womb started to press on my body and that my body is the body of a newborn. And suddenly I realized how much this small, tiny body needs the energy of anger so as to move and get out towards the exit, towards the escape… this small body has to put so much effort, so much work… but outside is calmness, open space, light. Dolphin took me on its back and we swam together playing on wave