This blog is written for those who want change and healing, but still find that they are often overtaken by anger, fear, denial or overwhelm.
I will talk about anger first because anger has always been my go-to emotion when I get stressed or overwhelmed. It seemed to unleash itself when I felt I couldn’t handle a life situation or circumstance anymore. I would flip out and snap at those I love in less than desirable ways.
I felt righteous and justified in my anger when I thought I had cause for my anger and hate, such as witnessing horrible world events or historical atrocities.
My anger would also hide underneath slight upsets, such as small triggers of frustration or annoyance. If my upset didn’t blow the moment it was triggered, I would hold it and stuff it down until it accumulated and would curdle within me until it did blow, often without any control over it anymore.
It took me a while to realize that my “more mature / righteous anger” had changed forms, and turned into annoyance and irritation that lingered under the surface of my skin. It also took me a while to learn that this unchecked overwhelm was harming me, and massively so.
I thought because I was controlling it better, it was okay to keep all these thoughts of hate and upset bottled up within me. It wasn’t until I read lesson 21 of A Course in Miracles, where Jesus says that these seeming lesser emotions are “nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury,” that I learned how much internal work I still needed to do.
Fury is what “we” are all hiding within; fury at the world, how sick it is, and how those at the top are responsible for a lot of it. Fury at God for allowing this and poverty and suffering to go on. Also hiding just below the surface may include fury at family members for disrespecting us, or fury about sexual violence and wars erupting in our world in the past and present. Fury settles at the base of our subconscious mind as part of the human condition, and when left unchecked it comes out in loads of different ways. I have clients whose fury comes out as debilitating depression, others as tremendous anxiety or fear, and sometimes substance abuse, self harm or through a food addiction or anger such as with myself.
Since all anger (and other emotions/addictions) are hiding intense fury, this makes me think (and now know) that there must be a better way to process this fury and let it be released in a constructive way that does no harm, but actually corrects it.
This is where, for me, admitting I had a problem, like they say to do in AA, really really really helped me. When I admitted that this anger still penetrated the walls of my perception and reverberated out onto how I was seeing the world and myself, it became quite obvious that it wasn’t the things “out there” that caused me pain but how I was dealing with things “in here”.
Wanting to look deeper at my own anger as well as the lesser emotions that I rested on top of it, I saw that upset of any kind is the ego’s way of trying to make others feel guilty. If I make you feel guilty, I won’t feel guilty…. right??? Nope. When we project the anger we feel onto others, and try to make them feel responsible or guilty, WE will inevitably feel guilty, thus keeping guilt (and anger) intact for both of us.
A Course in Miracles says: “Anger takes many forms, but it cannot long deceive those who will learn that love brings no guilt at all, and what brings guilt cannot be love, and MUST be anger.”
In other words, anger and the many forms it takes will no longer deceive us when we no longer want to make others guilty and responsible for our upset / anger. This quote is pointing to radical responsibility, and asking us to no longer justify our anger, ever, because what is truly loving heals and what is truly loving is void of anger because anger is the antithesis of love.
This means we must be loving not only to others, but to ourselves. And if we want the world to be more loving, well, we must be more loving by not hiding our anger, or stuffing our fury or “not-good-enoughness” down. But instead, call it to the light for feeling and healing and release.
- It’s OKAY if you look to your past and those who have harmed you and others and say “I hate you” and have anger towards them.
- It’s OKAY if you look out on all the atrocities in our world and be so angered by them.
- It’s OKAY if you hate the government and hate on the people who harmed other people or animals.
- It’s OKAY if you feel you were unfairly treated or injustice was done to you or those you love.
It is OK because all of these honest thoughts and feelings can be used to heal you. Honesty opens the cavity of your mind to what you’re actually thinking and believing. We need to get in touch with all that, be honest about all that, in order to heal all that. If we don’t use it (our trigger/anger) for a purpose (to heal), we will use it to justify our own stories / opinions which keep us stuck in our own cycle of hell, sabotage, sickness or addiction longer than is necessary.
Fast forward in my life to more spiritual days, and spiritual communities. I would of course be told in these circles that anger is not spiritual, and not loving…and yet I found that instead of being taught how to correct it …. It was demonstrated to me to push it down and pretend it wasn’t happening in favor of more positive thoughts.
I thus opted for the seemingly less harmful approach to life’s difficulties….denial.
Denial for me felt safe because I didn’t have to look at what I was actually thinking and feeling and I didn’t have to let idols or the identity I made for myself fall. I could just deny how I felt, deny others and deny my need for change through affirming some spiritual concepts.
After a while I saw this path didn’t work either. Denying what was really going on inside me was not helping me… or anyone. This is when I started to look more closely at denial and what it really means and how it can be used for good or be used to keep us stuck.
Denial takes three paths.
- Denying our identity as God created us to be.
- Denying the world, the body and everyone in it.
- Denying the denial of truth
When I was denying my identity as God created me I was thinking I was equally this body and a soul. I saw myself as two things and because of this I was not consistent in life. I would flip-flop having some good days, some amazing days, but plenty of bad days and terrible days siding on the side of feeling alone, disconnected and lacking peace. I was out of accord with my wholeness and who I am on the deepest level, and so I did not experience constancy, stability and the magnitude of my power and creativity. The thing is, the ego wants us to deny what God created us to be and it will fight to keep our body identity and this personality intact. The domain of ego IS the body and if we think we are It, ego will continue to be able to lead us and distract us and keep us small when we are not “all in” for who God created us to be. God creates only the eternal. We are not two things. Our Soul identity will continue forever and unless we are identifying with this changeless reality, we will not experience the changelessness of peace. Denying our identity as Soul / God’s Child happens often, very often in spiritual communities, especially those communities that study non-dualism. They realize that they are not this body, but they also deny the reality of the Soul. Because of this they side with the concept of “I do not exist” because the “I” they are identifying with is the body/ego. But to say that “I dont/we dont exist” is also denying that we DO exist, as God’s Sons/Souls, forever. So we have to be mindful of not denying our identity as God created us in favor of spiritual concepts. But we also must deny the identity we made for ourselves (body/personality), in order to experience what we are as God created us, beyond all concepts.
Denying the world and everyone in it, to me, is the most detached and harmful denial approach. Denying the world and everyone in it appears to be a trauma response to not being able to deal with the world (and the anger it seems to provoke in us). So instead of correcting the errors in our mind, to better handle the stresses of the world, they deny the world altogether. There are many students of A Course in Miracles who take this approach literally, thinking that because we are learning of our oneness that oneness means singular One. And because there is “only one” it must mean there is no “you” or “we” or “us”. In my experience this is where the toxic part of denial comes in. It’s toxic to believe that Oneness means singular One, when in Reality oneness is a state of mind, a way of being that is shared by ALL of God’s Children. Oneness in this sense is omnipresent, eternal, connected and never separate from each and every living thing. To deny this world, to say “you don’t exist”, to deny our brothers and sisters and to deny the suffering of many on this planet, is to lose empathy, lose vision, lose cooperation among equals. It’s a perspective of nothingness and leads to nothingness. Jesus says in the Course that we are everything, and there is NO compromise between everything and nothing. Jesus also says: “It should especially be noted that God has only ONE Son. If all the Souls God created ARE His Sons, then every Soul MUST be an integral part of the whole Sonship.You do not find the concept that the whole is greater than its parts difficult to understand.You should, therefore, not have too much trouble in understanding this.”
We should not have much trouble understanding this, but I have come to see that many do have trouble understanding this and highly defend their denial of understanding. In my experience those who take this approach keep themselves at a distance from others and the world because they don’t think any of it is real and so they “pay it no mind”. In A Course in Miracles we are told over and over that we are not healed alone. We heal in our relationships, we are here for each other, we need to serve one another, love one another, bless each other. If there is “only one” of us, this cuts us off at the arms and knees and prevents the extension of the Love and the Miracles that are shared between “two or more”. To deny the world is to stay in a mental space that breeds more sickness and separation.
It’s okay and necessary to take our meaning of the world off of it while also denying the world as we made it. But this is just one step, the first step in True Vision / Healing. The next step is to let the world be reinterpreted (not denied) so that we see Heaven / the Kingdom in place of what we saw before. This is when we can be truly helpful to others and ourselves, by allowing a new interpretation of the world to be given us (through Holy Spirit / Higher Mind), instead of denying the world (and detaching from it) all together.
Denying the denial of truth is a truly helpful form of denial. We want to deny the thoughts, beliefs, projections, fears that keep us thinking we are anything less than the power, beauty and wholeness that God created us to be. It’s accurate to use denial to no longer side with or believe faulty conclusions about ourselves or another. It’s powerful to deny our own thinking in favor of Gods. This is what opens us up to think differently, to see differently, to live in the Real World / reflection of Heaven here instead of the hell we made. We want to use denial correctly and helpfully, but it’s only helpful when it’s used to protect truth.
For as long as we listen to a voice that hates or judges anyone for anything (including oneself) or denies others experiences or what you’re truly actually thinking and feeling in any way….. we cannot know Love. We cannot hear love. And without love (without God), change and peace is impossible.
This perspective was mirrored by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr who made it clear that “hate cannot drive out hate only love can do that. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that”. Jesus made this same message clear in the bible when He said “love your enemies.”
So if anger, hate and denial are not helpful modes of dealing with this world or our upsets in life, what is?
I have come to learn that “Personal Responsibility” is the way, but it must have as its goal “Collective Service”. This takes us out of the box of spirituality and into the realm of SPIRIT where we truly heal and correct our thinking, not just for ourselves alone, but for others as well. This approach connects the receiving to the giving, the learning to the teaching, the healing to the healer.
This turn around from spirituality to Spirit came for me after I owned a few things.
I had to own the fact that:
1) I failed in my ability to control my anger/overwhelm/denial by myself
2) I needed help to not just control but undo my errors
3) I needed to render my anger and upset USELESS to me. I could no longer justify it as ok or righteous.
This meant doing what it says in A Course in Miracles to do which is anytime I saw fear or anger or denial rise up in me I would “Turn immediately to me (Jesus) by denying the power of the fear, and ask me to help you to replace it with Love.” This is a practice and a process of learning to ask for help in the moment we need it and to admit that we need help instead of projecting fault or blame onto someone else.
This also meant for me radical honesty.
Radical honesty as to where I was NOT living up to who I am, and my potential here.
⭐I literally wrote a list with the title: “These are all the areas where I am NOT living up to my greatest potential”. On this list I had the ways I was (not) caring for my body, the ways I was (not) caring for my mind or being vigilant for God, all the ways I was (not) serving others, all the ways I was sabotaging my health and success, all the ways I was denying my upset, my abilities and my holiness.
⭐I also had a list that said: “These are all the areas where I have already improved and where I am grateful to myself.” This list helped me to see where I was proud of myself and how far I have come, so I do not lose sight of the progress I have already made, but instead can build upon the foundation I already set.
When I looked at these lists, especially the first one, it became clear that the way I cared for myself and my body needed to improve. I also was reminded, through all my denial work, that I am not asked to deny my body or my mind. My body is to be reinterpreted, like the world, and my mind can be corrected through forgiveness. So I began to ask for a reinterpretation of my body and correction of my thinking, to receive a new purpose for my body instead of denying it and its needs.
This work ushered me into an awareness that allowed me to see where I am not loving in how I thought or acted towards others and not loving in how I thought, acted or cared for myself which invited me to take action and change.
This is when all the dots came together and it became crystal clear that I was using food to stuff down my anger and denial and that food was not my problem. For over a decade I was trying to “fixing my food addiction” problem when really it was about fixing the problems in my thinking that were underneath my “problem” with food.
Slowly but surely I transformed and was able to affirm with absolute certainty that I AM love, and YOU ARE love, then I must let ALL my thoughts and actions come into accord with ONLY Love. This awareness has kept me vigilant for Love, and anytime I was not loving to myself or another, BAM, an opportunity to forgive was given me. I would then use all the mind training tools that have become an invaluable and necessary part in my healing repertoire to truly heal myself.
I am not perfect at this, we are not expected to be, but we can seek to do better everyday.
And when I committed to being better, thinking better, acting better and eating better everyday, my whole entire life began to transform. It was using my ‘responsibility’ as a POWER (instead of blame) that was the catalyst for my freedom.
So I urge you, like me, to see that the over layer (like binge eating or addiction) as NOT the problem, but not dealing with emotions underneath that is the problem. The emotions (anger/denial) can lead us to the root of our issues, and when we are brave enough to be led there and look. We are reminded in the Course that Jesus is holding our hand and the lantern, and he urges us to only look. When we look, that’s our willingness demonstrated, and He can then heal us and help us to change.
My outcomes of healing anger and overcoming toxic denial:
✔️I began to think and act kinder to myself and started to truly care for myself everyday
✔️I began to eat better and use Love/ Spirit to make all my food decisions
✔️I claimed total responsibility any time I was upset.
✔️My body began to change, lose weight and heal
✔️ I became a mom and have been raising her in a home and in a kitchen that nourishes, and loves.
✔️Instead of hating the food system and being angry…… I CHOOSE to love the farmers and choose the food and the farmers that love the animals and the land.
✔️I let my anger and denial give way to my genuine care of others.
This not only let my anger be undone
And my denial be overcome
But it allowed me to HEAL and become FREE.
And now I dedicate my mind and time to helping others to heal themselves, like I have. This is why my Kitchen Alchemy Course was born, so I had a way to teach and give what I have learned and received to all of you. Kitchen Alchemy’s foundation is forgiveness. It has an entire module on Mindset dedicated to helping you embrace a similar shift in your own mind, life and kitchen. And this change/shift can now ripple through onto future generations. Because as I teach my kid and teach you…… you can teach your kid anew too!
If you are the faintest bit curious about joining my Kitchen Alchemy Course. DM me, write YES in comments or visit my website. I am happy to share more details with you and hope to see you on the inside. www.wholeandhealthykitchen.com/kitchen-alchemy