There are two things that civilization fears more than anything. You guessed it. Nothing screams chaos and mayhem like a bunch of uninhibited, oversexed yay-hoos running amok with free expression in these two areas.
As a result, we each as individuals have learned to cautiously control our impulses and behave ourselves “appropriately,” which has an extremely narrow definition, specifically when it comes to sex and anger. So, of course, we end up with our contents under pressure. We all know what that feels like, even if we’re not consciously aware of it (read my last post for more amusing things about our subliminal intelligence). This experience inside (which can live within us as low-grade anxiety, fear, stress and irritability, or numbness, exhaustion, distraction and disconnection), validates and perpetuates the overblown societal fear of the “devastating” consequences we can expect from freely expressed sexuality and freely expressed anger.
On the other hand, look at the world we live in now. We don’t appear to be doing a very good job of avoiding chaos and mayhem! Could our inner censors, smothering our inner powerhouses, be damning us to fulfill society’s fearful prophecy?
Sex and anger are both potent, explosive forces of bodily nature. They must be given the space to explode as needed, or they will fester and pressurize, causing diseases–both medical and social. And inhibition in these two areas is always going to backfire, resulting in the turmoil that we are witnessing now in the world around us.
A look around might seem to indicate that sex needs more fencing in…porn is rampant, rape is violent, cheating is hurtful, and temptation is everywhere. It might look like anger needs more fencing, too…hate crimes escalate, polemics divide, mass shootings increase, road rage amplifies…. But an inordinate fixation on sex generally arises out of unfulfillment and deprivation, not abundance and over-fulfillment. The savagery out there is about pent up anger, not over-expression. Again, suppressing vital forces will always backfire in the long run.
The roots of it all are deeply personal, much to our chagrin, but therefore the potential is promising.
This is why. Sex and anger both inform us of who we are, on a very basic, essential level. Suppressing either of them denies us contact with our most vital energies and when we box those in, things get all mixed up, and we get lost. When we are lost, we become more afraid. That’s because when we become strangers to ourselves, we are unable to soundly judge what is a legitimate threat, and therefore which battles to fight, and therefore how to value and manage our own energies. If we do not properly value our energy, we do not properly value ourselves and then, of course, forget about valuing others. (Understanding this process indicates that the reverse of it is also true. The personal nature of it means we can do something about it. Hence the promising potential.)
So what to do? Most people I know are terrified of anger, inside and out. And, most people I know don’t allow themselves to look too closely at sexual desire and need. Extreme discomfort prevents many of us from going there, in either case. After all, is it really worth it?
Honesty. We all have to deal with anger and sex, one way or another. It’s in us.
Responsibility. We are the only ones, individually, who can begin to turn this behemoth of civilization around.
Awareness. Wake up and smell the roses! It’s not a trap, as “they” would have you believe, but a portal to your own well-being. Time to see the light.
On my own journey I validated the hidden powerhouses of both my sex and my anger, while at the same time getting a surprising view of the world on the other side of those expressions. What I found is, when you give yourself permission to discover and express what’s inside of you, you realize that all the warnings and resistance are a ruse. Then you see that life is not only manageable, but much better.
Right off the bat, I bumped into the fear, first my own and then that of others. My own fear told me that getting pissed, and letting loose my anger, would consume and devour me. Then others began telling me to just get over it and be happy. My own fear told me that having sex in ways that felt out-of-sync with my habitual sense of “self” and propriety would destroy me (and I’m not exaggerating). Then others began to gossip and label, judge and despise–or all the ways we express the fear of self and other (and amounting to little more than a passing spectacle).
Fortunately, I stopped listening to all that and went about with my business. I pushed through my own fear and did not let the fear of others dissuade me. I “ran amok,” having sex with whomever I wanted who would have me, and screaming and raging myself to my satisfaction. I did both of these for over a decade.
Purposefully. Diligently. Persistently.
Meanwhile, I ran a business, cultivated deeply nourishing relationships, got a degree, and maintained my health and household. Of course, there were casualties along the way, as well. I ended a loving-but-misguided relationship, distanced myself from a family that was offended by the new “me,” and moved away from a town that I’d loved but outgrown. All of this was deeply transformative and empowering.
I did not become a sex addict, abuse and misuse others, recklessly risk unwanted pregnancies, or contract and spread infectious diseases…by way of unbridling my sexuality.
I did not maim or kill others, turn into a maniac or a seething cesspool…by tapping and releasing my anger.
What I discovered was myself. My whole self. My own capacity and power. Frightening? Sure. Devastating? To whom? Worth it? Hell yes.