Love, anger and boundaries
“Anger does not disappear as we evolve and in fact may become even more fiery, but it burns more and more cleanly, serving the well-being of all involved.” Robert Augustus Masters
Having recently come out of an abusive relationship, I am, understandably, paying close attention to my boundaries.
Recognising that I not only over-rode some subtle inner signals that things weren’t “right”, but also tolerated and made allowances for my partner’s increasingly cruel and aggressive behaviour (including anger at my boundary setting), I’m now very much on guard as to when I feel anything or anyone violating my integrity and well-being.
And I regard this as one of the key lessons my ex came to teach me. (Thank you!)
So it’s no surprise, then, that life has immediately begun to hand me one opportunity after the other to put my boundary-holding skills into practice.
Like a learner on a bicycle, I’m not yet speeding along with every confidence. I’ve felt fear of pissing people off or hurting their feelings, and noticed the insistent voice in my head that wants me to “be nice” to people, even if I find their actions or words offensive or intrusive.
Damm this good girl conditioning !!
I’ve also had one detractor tell me that having boundaries and expressing anger is incompatible with unconditional love.
Whoa! Now that’s a dangerous misinterpretation of new-age philosophy if ever I heard one. What a great way to shut up, shame and control a sincere spiritual aspirant: lay siege to their conscience with the distorted new-speak that reframes their healthy self-love as moral inadequacy.
As my Facebook friend, Louisa Love, states:
“True love is a firm conscious boundary to unconscious energy, and if necessary may be expressed as righteous anger.
If for instance someone is harming your child you’ll step in and use force if needs be to protect your child.
When we are without boundaries in so called new age “unconditional love”, we coerce with the unconscious dark energy by allowing it to harm others or ourselves.
We MUST learn to say no even if it upsets others or even if we are rejected or judged for it.
True deep, unconditional, embodied love is to stand firmly in our truth and our boundaries. Love equals boundaries”
This is what, I believe, is meant by the truism that states that we must first have a very solid, secure sense of our self (what, in Kundalini Yoga we call being “self-fulfilled” and “self-illumined”), before we can ever hope to truly merge with another in sacred relationship.
Otherwise, all we are doing is enmeshing in co-dependency.
So, then, to anger, which, is a healthy emotional response to the impingement upon our boundaries.
But also an emotion towards which many of us have been negatively conditioned (we fear it and/or judge it), most of us mix up with other states (such as aggression, hostility and violence) and few of us have learned to feel purely and express cleanly.
Yet, as relational expert Robert Augustus Masters, explains, a mature and mindful relationship with anger can evoke deeper intimacy, integrity, self-awareness and aliveness.
He calls this "heart-anger”.
“Heart-anger has a broad enough sense of human suffering to embrace a radically inclusive morality; it possesses sufficient faith in Life to persist in its fiery caring; and it has the guts to carry all this out.”
Let me give you an example.
Last year, I attended a powerful talk on conscious relationship with world famous spiritual teacher, Marianne Williamson, hosted by Alternatives.
If you havn’t heard of her, Marianne Williamson is known for her teachings on A Course in Miracles, as well as her many best-selling books.