I've applied to meet my own aggression. It's always been there, it has a familiarity when it rears and rages, but I've never faced it soberly, explicitly acknowledged it exists and observed all it's sudden, surging entrances and thinly veiled expressions.
I know I am aggressive in many ways. Surgically aggressive with emails to people who I perceive as trying to be dishonest or unfair or disrespectful with me. I stress the word 'perceived' because there's often a difference between the perceived disrespect I'm reacting to and the actual disrespect being delivered. It's obvious that my reaction is based on how I'm perceiving the person triggering me into my aggression. If I am seduced, at the time of the trigger, by my anger's clever justification for it's self-righteous raging : "this person's an idiot" "this person is disrespecting me' "this person is trying to be dishonest with me" …then I will mistakenly label that trigger-person as the CAUSE of my anger rather than face the Truth which is that they are just the TRIGGER of the anger which is already there, bubbling away in me, reactive to triggers like this person.
I am a volcano.
The anger and aggression is in me. It's reactive to certain kinds of people and also certain kinds of situations, usually ones where I feel overwhelmed. Recently Memphis had an accident and entered the room screaming with her foot dribbling big blood drops all over the place. My first reaction to the sudden shock and worry was rage at Indy for having not cleared up the glass she had broken this morning more thoroughly. And then rage at everyone not jumping around to support me quickly enough even though there was nothing specific I needed done or had asked for support in. My aggression is useless and misguided in that situation and, if anything, could hinder efficient essential action if not reigned in quickly enough.
Another well worn aggression-trigger is my responses to my ex-wife. I not only look at the way I react to my stories of 'how I'm being treated', but I also have to examine my own manipulative aggression. I'm sometimes feeling like the victim to hers but I also have to look at how I am just like the projected 'her' I am complaining about. How have I distorted facts and information to get my way? How do I present one-sided, incomplete versions of things to get my way? How do I purport this same kind of aggression on others?
ALso, when I receive a snide, sarcastic email from someone who's judgemental about me, recently usually about teaching workshops and writing my take on life publicly, when someone sends me an overtly or covertly bullying email, especially an indirect, sarcastic kind of message, I want to dissect and kill every syllable they wrote to me and spell out their hypocrisy and blindness to them in a way that shows them, silences them and maybe even kills them. In a way that makes them feel as dismissed as i feel.
I am trying to feel into this "saying fuck off to bullies" attraction that I am experiencing. I want to be metaphorically 'upstairs' as the high being that knows everyone is just a version of me, a lesson, a gift for me to lighten up and let go and at the same time be metaphorically 'downstairs' as a human, primal in flesh and bone and say "fuck off you bully!" to those people so articulately that there is no room for anything but How I see it. This is aggressive. It's an Aggressive way to protect the hurt I feel or the fear I feel in my body from old bullies of long ago. And again, I also have to look at both my reaction but also - how am I just like them? How do I lay my own superiority trips on people? Make them feel small so I can feel less threatened? Do I do that? How am I just like the smug, superior, dismissive bullies?
I've asked to meet my aggression.
And I look at how I shame others, how I make them feel guilty for displeasing me as if they are wrong and responsible for how I now feel. Shaming people when they don't behave as I'd prefer is aggression. I'm examining my speech and my verbal tactics with my kids.
I got furious with someone else recently when I felt she was mocking me. I perceived she was. As I witnessed the perceived mocking twinkle in her eye, the perceived bid for humiliation, the perceived, deliberate cruelty for her entertainment, all these BELIEFS justified a rage surge that named her as the CAUSE and all my trust in her vanished and the jarring exposure I suddenly felt, where I perceived my openness had been mocked made me leap up, say something final and leave the area. I can almost summon the burning sharpness in my torso with the recent memory. The version of her as all these negative intentions was of course totally in me and my 'version' that I had attached all this to. None of it really going on in her at all. All projected.
That sense of 'being betrayed' in me makes me want to kill, makes me want them to feel the pain they've just 'caused' me. Wants to strike out in pain, almost as self defence. And then I ask, how am I like this character I'm painting? How often am I mocking, insensitive, a maker of inappropriate and accidentally hurtful things? A lot. I am aggressively insensitive sometimes.
And when I shared with a friend how I had felt about that trigger of insensitivity they said in one breath "you do that a lot" and a surge of rage exploded in me. "why had they given me an irrelevant auto-response in one breath and made me 'wrong' instead of empathising with the story I was sharing?" The rage of being unseen and wrongly judged. Deeper than that, the alienation and rejection of not being stuck-up-for or backed up.
The aggression in me is big. I am a big personality. I drag a lot of power along with me. I don't want my unconsciously arising aggression to cause harm to anyone near me or to sabotage my life. So I applied to meet my aggression and the reply has been a cast of thousands, people and circumstances delivered by Almighty Productions to both trigger my own aggression so I can observe it and also send characters to mirror and mimic my own behaviours and strategies so that I can see myself in technicolor and tie bells to the ankles of my insidious traps - all the better to hear them coming sooner and not get sucker-punched so often.
I'm being punked by God all the time. I am being treated with humour and mercy. I remember that these strong sensations of fear and anger and shame that arise in waves during these episodes are from one perspective, just my body's genius using the moment to discharge some accumulated, blocked trauma and my system is so self-mending that it uses strong sensations as anuses to excrete emotionally. Maybe the whole soap opera simply serves as an emotional and psychic EXPECTORATE for the humans' EMOTIONAL and PSYCHIC EXCRETION.
What's the best first step you've found in response to rising aggression in yourself, or from others?