This week we get to hear from Breezy about a topic that we don’t talk much about: anger. I can personally identify with Breezy’s story as she recounts times in her life trying to understand her own anger. I think her wisdom around anger is important to attend to as women today! Learn more about Breezy and her business at the end of her story!
NOTE: For anyone of a different faith background reading this, I want to welcome you by not assuming what you are familiar with, and offering a quick point of clarity if needed - When God is referenced in this story, Breezy is talking about the God of the Bible.
You may have heard about the Enneagram in the last few months, since it has become extremely popular and vogue to talk about your “number”. I won’t go into it here, but if you haven’t heard of it - the Enneagram is a personality typing system using numbers one through nine to explain human behavior.
I am a Type One.
This means I am a rational person, principled in the way I live my life, purposeful in what I do every day, and a hard-core perfectionist (Just ask my husband or sister, who lives with us...insert their eye-roll here).
I’d like to say that finding out my number was a relief - which it was in part - but mostly it hit me like a ton of bricks. The dark side of ‘Ones’ is that we can be resentful, rigid, judgmental and overly critical.
I am in the gut triad (you can read more about the different triads here.) which has a dominant emotion of anger at its center.
Anger is an interesting emotion. I grew up believing that anger is bad and I shouldn’t feel it. It’s also taught as a very un-feminine emotion to have. Cool. So the dominant emotion that I deal with day to day is anger, but I’m not allowed to feel it. So what do I do with it? I try to control and repress it, obviously. Sounds healthy, right?
Over the last year, for the first time, anger has actually felt like the dominant emotion of my life and I’ve finally been able to name it. I’ve felt overwhelmed, anxious, angry at myself for being angry all the time, and frustrated. I just kept thinking, “Why am I so angry all the time?! What is wrong with me?! If you want to be a delicate flower of woman, stop being angry!” [Welcome to the inner workings of my head.]
Enter in Enneagram Type 1. Ahhh, my heart took a sigh of relief when I learned that I’m not, in fact, crazy. There’s actually nothing wrong with me. I won’t go into all the ways being a ‘One’ affects me, but I want to camp out with anger for a bit.
It’s important for us to get something right about anger when we are taught that it’s bad and should be pushed away.
All emotions are created by God. All. Period. By putting the label good/bad on an emotion, it is stifling us from hearing what our heart is trying tell us or what God is trying to speak to us through it. For so long, I pushed my anger down and felt guilty for being an “angry person”. But I’m finally able to say it out loud, I’m angry, and that doesn’t make me a bad person. Actually, it has proven to be both a great strength and weakness, as most of these things go.
Here’s what’s so interesting about anger; it is a protective emotion and is almost always a secondary emotion, meaning there is usually another emotion giving rise to it, i.e. fear, hurt, sadness. If we look at it that way, there’s no way to label anger as bad and move on with our day. Instead, anger is incredibly helpful and lets us know what’s actually going on in our hearts. Cue another heart sigh of relief.
We need anger. It teaches us about ourselves: What makes you angry? What causes you to want to stand on your chair and scream at the top of your lungs? What makes your heart burn?
Listen to that.
This is the way we learn what matters to us. This is what causes us to move to action. This is where social justice begins.
This is how we change the world.
When I sit down to evaluate the times I’m angry, I’ll be honest, a lot of times it’s for petty, unimportant things, like dishes in the sink or things not being “my way” at home. And a lot of times I react poorly by being critical towards the people closest to me and taking out my anger on them in unhealthy ways.
Sometimes (and I pray this becomes more often than not) my anger causes me to run to God, desperately pleading for Him to uncover what’s happening in my heart. I’ve been angry about a lot of really stupid, meaningless things. But, I’m starting to be angry about more things that actually matter: poverty, racial injustice, isolation from community, when people are devalued…and the list is only growing.
I pray that these are the kinds of things that anger us.
Let’s choose to confess when our anger is petty and we react poorly to those around us. Let’s turn away from that. We don’t need that kind of anger in our lives.
But let’s walk into the anger that causes our eyes to burn with tears and our hearts to rage and our bodies to move to action because we JUST CAN’T KEEP SILENT.
Let’s finally let anger have its proper place in our lives.
Part of embracing my story is finally embracing my anger.
The Enneagram has given me language to express what’s been happening in my heart since I was young. I am finally starting to understand my anger - allowing it to draw me to action. Sometimes that action is simply sitting before a Holy God to let Him in instead of pretending my anger isn’t there. Sometimes it’s using my privilege to take action on behalf of women in vulnerable communities.
Whatever it is for you, I pray your anger leads you to understand and pursue the passions of your heart.
Breezy lives in Chicago with her husband of 3 years and sister, plus their 2 kitties. She has a strong passion for health, fitness, hearty soups, matcha, and finding balance. One of the ways she is using her passions is through being a Noonday Collection Ambassador. She loves being able to sell beautiful jewelry while empowering men and women all over the world by helping provide sustainable jobs. If you want to know more about Noonday Collection, you can go to her site here or find her on Instagram @breezymellijor.noonday