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Increasing Awareness of Our Aggression

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inquiry & integration

inquiry instructions

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Inquiry:  What are your specific way(s) of being aggressive, angry irritable, impatient, contracted, intolerant…  and all other emotions that have resistance in them.  (refer to Introspective Guides on challenging emotions)

Personal Integration:  This practice can be done alone or with a friend, lover, or counselor. Take one to five minutes or longer to contemplate and answer the question. When done with another, it is essential that the listener remains neutral and encourages you by repeating this inquiry as needed to help maintain focus.  This is a critical question for all of us to ask ourselves, on an ongoing basis.  We are human so we have ways of being mad or angry, even if they aren’t  dramatic or necessarily obvious..  Take the time to remember the most conflicted times that have come up recently that are likely to happen, again and again.    See if you can be like a scientist, and dispassionately identify what your unique way is of reacting when you are in the more aggressive or resistant side of yourself.  Recognize this as an act of integrity and peace, as it is evident that letting this part of our self remain unconscious is both dangerous and destructive.  Allowing for a greater awareness is a beginning step to peace and real strength.
 
Inquiry 2: How deep and strong is your awareness of your anger and resistant emotions?  In other words how much can you use your awareness constructively to impact the way you act out frustration, anger or impatience… (refer to Introspective Guide on Challenging Emotions)
 
Personal Integration 2:  Follow the same instructions as above in the monologue or repeating question format.  This is critical  to look into as we are starting to distinguish between having a simply intellectual awareness of our patterns of anger, rather than a depth awareness.  Is it just intellectual?  Do we have strong feelings of frustration that we can’t control ?   Let yourself honestly review the times where you have most resisted others, and see if you are actually aware you are in a state of anger or resistance.  Then look at how often you rationalize that the other deserved it, and finally, whether the new awareness has the power to intervene and change how you respond.  Don’t be surprised if you have almost no control, even when you are aware, as that is where most of us find ourselves.   We haven’t spent enough time contemplating in an aware state to give ourselves healthier choices.  Let this lead to recognition of how important it is to do this exercise, and cultivate your consciousness of your aggression much more deeply.  You may want to refer to a number of the other videos on Containment of Resistant Emotions, and work on Aggression.  For those with LMFT”s and LCSW’s or more dedicated seekers, there is a 10 hour retreat on line in the Continuing Education section.
 
Inquiry 3: Can you imagine yourself containing aggression and being more positive in concrete situations in your daily life?  
 
Personal Integration 3: Follow the same instructions as above in the monologue or repeating question format.  After you have identified the ways that you express your resistance and anger in your life go over the more heated side of your life, and role play out loud or inside yourself the qualities you would like to bring to these situations.  Don’t give up on yourself just because it is hard.  This is a common area where many of us  think we can’t do this.  It is often important to seek the help of a counselor or a rare good friend who can help us be more honest and in control of ourselves.  Allowing our self to expand into our hearts and best qualities, even in fantasy, is a great step in evolving into deeper levels of mental health.  This is a particularly good inquiry to share with an evolved partner as it shows that both of you are aware of your “shadow” aggressive sides and want to bring the essential qualities of being into your relationship.
 
Inquiry 4:  How able are you to have a conversation with yourself wherein you give support and congratulations for seeing  your own aggressive side?
 
Personal Integration 4: Follow the same instructions as above in the monologue or repeating question format.  It is critical to have a dialogue with yourself so that it is clear that you as a person, are more than your emotions.  There is a part of you that is just interested in being aware, and wanting to cultivate well being that can converse with your reactivity.  For many of us this is a miraculous stage of development.  Locate the times where you are most reactive, and intervene with self supportive statements like “I am so proud of you that you are admitting this now” or “have the courage to stay aware of this”  “I trust you more that you no longer have to run away and hide.”   Let these words of support come from your authentic being, and deepen your awareness of this sacred part of yourself that is an authentic witness.
 
Inquiry 5:  Can you see how your voluntary containment and transformation of your resistant emotions and anger will make you more strong and vulnerable at the same time?
 
Personal Integration 5: Follow the same instructions as above in the monologue or repeating question format.  Understanding that the containment of our anger creates a paradoxical combination of both healthy vulnerability and strength is a key motivator to enter more deeply into the practice.  When we are no longer acting out a particular anger you can see that this will lead to more vulnerable feelings like hurt, fear, rejection… (refer to Article on “Underneath Anger and Resistant Emotions”)  Can you also see that this is the beginning of finding what your needs are as you are more vulnerable, that this will make you  more capable of real strength that will actually serve you?   (see the video “linking vulnerable feelings to core needs”)
 
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Since 1972, Humanistic Spirituality founder Robert Strock has maintained a private spiritual and therapeutic counseling practice that specializes in purposeful living, relationships, spiritual psychology, and death and dying counseling. Humanistic Spirituality provides various spiritual workshops, guided mediations, and licensed marriage family therapists and licensed social work continuing education courses. Contact us to learn how we can help you find inner peace and spiritual awareness through our counseling, or our free guided meditations, videos, audios, writings, introspective guises and more. A warm welcome from the team at Humanistic Spirituality.

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