Life can start out unfair for people. To make sense of injustice and worldwide pain, people can develop a tool named aggression. It's a dangerous item because it masquerades as power when its core is disintegration. Presence alters aggression. The world allows for many possibilities, and creative steps require presence.
The expression of aggression can be passed from generation to generation. So can its non-expression, aka anxiety and depression. Aggression expression can pass from person to person. I've experienced this, particularly with my siblings. One would act aggressive and I'd find myself jumping right into an equal or equal-yet-opposite action with them. This happened within the last few months (see previous posts), and I caught my aggression quicker this time. It's interesting how much of an ingrained pattern I observe with my older siblings.
I remember once when I enjoyed my aggression. I feel embarrassed even typing this, like shame on me for enjoying the experience. Perhaps that's best. I wouldn't want to repeat the behavior I exhibited at that time.
I think it was third grade. Amy and I were playing in her front yard. We disagreed about something. I felt angry and it zippity quick flashed into aggression. I may have exerted physical aggression with her -- pulled her arm? Took something away from her? I remember that I felt power. I remember that I mostly didn't feel power in my life at that time.
We must have been yelling or screaming. I vaguely recall her sisters in the corner of my eye, turning around in the living room, seeing us. They ran outside. Did they hurt me? or did they only pull us apart from each other? They said words. I don't remember them. I remember the gist -- like, don't mess with our sister.
I remember that I knew how to spar and at the time they pulled on me I could have fought back and I didn't. I remember that I felt a respect for fighting even as I had acted physically aggressive toward Amy. I knew I should have a self-defense reason for hurting another person.
These years later, I remember how I was the one to first utilize physical aggression with the smaller human. I remember how I used my size and strength to make her give me whatever it was (a toy?) that I wanted. Or was it that we were fighting over something else? like who was wrong or right? I don't know. I remember pulling on her and experiencing that I was physically stronger. I feel regret and embarrassment as I remember this memory. Like, I shouldn't have done that. That was a bad thing. I was bad.
It's accurate to say that was a bad way to address my anger. It was a bad way because it was an inconsiderate and violent way, not because I was a bad person. It's accurate to observe that I expressed my anger in the way I learned acceptable in my home environment -- as rage, as I get what I want or I'm out of here, as my anger is the decider here. Still, even as I learned that was acceptable in my home environment, I learned that expressing that emotion in a physical manner prefaced other people demonstrating that it wasn't ok with them. In that instance, her sisters came outside and broke up the fight. They defended their sister with words and I walked away with my hand behind my back with my middle finger up and they made fun of me because I think I had tears in my eyes and they were saying something like boohooMeilingisacrybaby.
I think that was the same year I scratched someone really hard on his back. The class was walking in the playground. I got school detention for that action. My homeroom teacher asked me why I did it, and I said because I thought the other person said it was ok for me to do so. As I sit here now, I feel incredulous at my explanation... did the other person say yes to a deep painful scratch down his back? Did the other person bleed from how hard I scratched? I remember seeing the red marks from my fingernails. My teacher said other stuff. I remember when she asked whether I'd jump off a bridge if other people told me they were going to do it.
For many years, I struggled with my emotions of frustration, anger, and sadness. I remember scenarios like the ones above, and I see them with my adult eyes instead of my child eyes. I see how I addressed the feelings in the ways that I observed in my home life. Then society said, Hey, quit acting aggressive, and I learned how to do that, in time.
I learned how to recognize my feelings by observing my body sensations. I looked at lists of emotion words and wondered about their nuances, then applied them when it seemed appropriate. EFT, meditation, exercise, vitamins and supplements, practicing honesty and compassion in my personal as well as professional life... these actions develop my presence and my connection with it. Learning to voice myself took a long time. It felt very risky. As I work through the risk, I develop my confidence. Presence and connection are true power.
*02/05/17. Added link to EFT site. Edited title's punctuation.
Well hello there.