Imagine the following. You are driving in the city; you feel calm, maybe your mind wanders a bit to what you have to do today or where you are driving. Even though the road is a bit busy, it is quite an enjoyable ride. The sun is out, it is nice and warm, and people seem to be in the spring mood.
You are a careful driver who watches your speed limit, gives way where you need to yield, and obeys all stop signs and traffic lights. Nothing can go wrong as long as you are careful, right?
Then all of a sudden, a moped comes out of nowhere, drives with high speed, and cuts you right off to prevent riding into a boulder in the middle of the road. You will have to firmly step on your brakes to avoid driving into the back of his vehicle.
Within a fraction of a second, your body situation has changed 180 degrees. You feel hot, your heart is pumping blood like a steam engine, your fist bangs on the middle of your steering wheel, and the honking sound is chasing the moped, driving off at high speed. The driver is waving at you and making gestures not to be shown to children. You can't help releasing some swear words, calling the driver whatever comes up in your mind. Heavily breathing, you realize you feel rage... road rage.
Does this have a familiar feeling? Often when this kind of rage comes up, it will not only release the anger caused by the incident itself, but it will take all the repressed anger suddenly available in its flow out.
This is what happens if we repress anger. It will bottle up inside us, staying out of sight until it sees an opportunity to come out. It only needs a small opening to burst, like a balloon only needs a pinhole...
I have written a post before called: Anger is bad!, which explains why we often repress anger. It is widespread in our society that we do this. However, when we do this, we must realize that the anger is not going away; it will be stored in our bodies. It will manifest itself eventually, one way or the other.
When repressed anger finds a way to be expressed, it usually comes as the explosive anger that we often see in traffic as road rage and in sports (players and supporters), domestic violence, or hysteria.
This kind of anger is destructive. It will never bring connection or clarity; it will eat you inside before it comes out and damage your surroundings or hurt people, yourself included.
In my work, I work a lot with repressed anger. Sometimes it is hard to access, but when it is opened up, it feels soo good to release it. It is such a relief when the anger is expressed constructively and then explored what is actually about.
Again I want to ask you, what is your relationship with anger? Do you feel anger in your body, and can you freely access it? Just be honest with yourself here and really feel into this. What do you do when you feel angry, swallow or spit?