Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Lesson On Anger from "Pretty Woman"

There's a scene in "Pretty Woman" where Julia Roberts and Richard Gere are in the bathtub and she has her legs wrapped around him.  He says the line that he spent ten thousand dollars in therapy to be able to say and that was "I was very angry at my father."

I took note of that line back in 1990 when the movie came out and it has stuck with me ever since. It would come up whenever I got angry at anyone or anything.  And I would spend many seconds emphasizing the word angry.  It would go like this. " I was very ANNNNGGGGRY."   In the last fews days, I was very ANGRY at someone.  And the anger turned to tears and I had a couple of sessions of ugly cries and then anger and back and forth over the last few days.  I really understand why people stick with their compulsions because the journey to heal is not for wussies.

But an aha has been coming about my anger.  I never really owned it.  Sure, I would rant and rave over the injustice of whoever or whatever it was but deep down...

I didn't think I deserved to be angry.

It was a mental mind game.  But I did deserve to be angry, I just had to detangle from the stories I have told myself that I am not worthy.   And separate and get some clarity from other people's stories that involved me.

As I'm allowing these feelings to work through, I pick up "The Artist's Way" (written by Julia Cameron) which is the workshop I'm taking this semester at church.  This is Chapter 3 which was my designated chapter to read this week.

Picking up this book and this chapter to read was God's hug for me.  I needed one and he gave it to me in this form and I'm grateful.

What stands out are the words....of the ENTIRE three paragraphs above.  I'm a people pleasing "nice" person, so I stuffed my anger, denied it, buried, blocked and hid it, etc.  But anger is there to show me my boundaries.  Again and again, it shows me my boundaries.

The last paragraph on anger:
"Sloth, apathy and despair are the enemy.  Anger is not.  Anger is our friend.  Not a nice friend.  Not a gentle friend.  But a very, very loyal friend.  It will always tell us when we have been betrayed. It will always tell us when we have betrayed ourselves.  It will always tell us that it is time to act in our own best interests.     Anger is not the action itself.  It is action's invitation."

There is a reason that the line from a movie in 1990 stuck with me.  Anger is my friend and I am worthy to listen to it and use it appropriately.

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