I began to notice that we were hitting a wall. Every time I would regale her with a story of angry feelings, she would listen and say, "Good for you!" I would mention that I told my husband I felt angry: "Good for you!" Hidden anger was bad. Expressing my anger was good, she explained, because I would name it for what it was. It would no longer have the power to depress me or manifest itself in chronic pain.
Then she counseled me: "You need to tell Todd (or person x, y, or zed) that you feel angry. Don't try to explain it or fix it. Just tell him and ask him to know your anger with you. Be transparent."
"I don't want to always be angry," I said. "I hope to someday receive all these stresses of life with more grace. More graciously."
She smiled and fretted, "Oh, dear."
The message was: This anger is your self. Receive yourself. Express yourself. Do not allow anyone or any religion or any code to suggest that your experience of yourself is untrue or deficient. It is what it is. Be. Any attempt to transform yourself will mean more pain, more depression.
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