What does Mad look like to you? I see a burning face with a furrowed brow. Sometimes, it looks like a kid (or perhaps an adult) having a tantrum. Sometimes, it looks like a pot of hot water boiling over; water spewing out all over the place, making a mess of things.
How does it feel when you are Mad? Where do you feel it in your body? When I feel Mad, I feel like my blood is boiling. My heart races, I hold my breath, and I feel misunderstood or unnoticed as a whole being.
It seems like there is a general social nonacceptance that goes along with feeling mad. It is a thing we all experience from time to time, but when we’re in the heat of it, it seems like it is an unacceptable feeling to acknowledge or allow to be expressed publicly. That feels backward to me, as one who wants to own my feelings and allow them when they surface. It is a feeling, and it is a part of who we are.
In the complex quagmire of feeling Mad, what is its function? When you feel Mad, how does it function for you? This is a tall order. In my world of feelings, feeling mad about something is a trigger to do something differently. When someone senselessly goes into a school and shoots children, I feel mad about that. Why does someone feel like it is okay to do something like that? Perhaps they are looking for attention about something. But hey, aren’t there other ways to draw attention to something without hurting or killing other humans?
In my profession as a project manager, I feel mad when someone on the team doesn’t do what they said they would do, and the entire team suffers. I somehow feel like it’s my responsibility to pick up the loose ends left by another, for the sake of the team, but what about that mad feeling? What is the function of that? When I step back and look at it objectively, I think it is a window that opens for me to discover something about my leadership skills. (What? Do I need to improve on something? – LOL) Or, perhaps it is putting a spotlight on something organizationally that needs attention. The key to dancing with this mad feeling is understanding where it is coming from and finding constructive ways for it to propel success.
Is it okay for me to feel mad and still visible? When is it appropriate to display anger, and how? What if you were to acknowledge it out loud? “I feel angry that this didn’t get done. Now, how can we address this?” “I am mad that someone shot my child at school. What can I do that would help others to feel safe at school?” It doesn’t subtract from the very real and justified mad feeling, but it helps that madness to be recognized and funneled into something that serves goodness.
I lit this candle for you to take with you and explore what being mad is all about. What does mad look like? How does it feel? What is its function in your life? Can you see any gift that comes from feeling mad?
We are feeling beings, and our feelings have validity…
You can also find this book on Amazon!