Friday Oct 22, 2021

Reaching for the child inside the angry man: men and healing anger

Men fight anger, but anger is a vital part of a man’s emotional life. When anger gushes out like a geyser from the site of a man’s wounds, and pain is powerful enough to enrage him, even though he can feel it, he can remain oblivious to what caused his anger. Despite the destructiveness of anger, it is valuable for men to consider the healing side of anger as it tends to point to their deepest wounds.

Many men are unaware of their emotional wounds and struggle with the allusive mystery of why they are so angry. Robert Bly, the author of Iron John, wrote: “The wild man is wounded and prefers not to examine it”, which says a lot about how men, from early childhood, compartmentalize or store their painful experiences and negative feelings in some forgotten realm of their unconscious minds. Emotionally wounded boys grow up to be wounded men because the wounded boy remains lost wandering somewhere within these realms of man’s unconscious mind. Bly rightly pointed out the dilemma faced by every man who has not overcome the wounds of his childhood: something is lost in each child that they must later recover through their personal inner and outer lifelong pursuits. Anger is a reminder that man’s quest to find the injured child and help heal him is not over yet.

Where does the angry man begin to look to heal his wounds? Men spend an enormous amount of their lives struggling to understand the reason for their anger, because they forgot the place where they hid their wounds. If it were easy to find and heal the wounded child lost within and resolve the anger, men would certainly line up for the miracle elixir. However, easy remedies would only serve to diminish and render a man powerless, because the search to heal his wounds, which is the source of his anger, is what gives rise to the strength of his character, as is the search of the Holy Grail.

Using the imagery of an expansive dark forest or a deep and ominous cave, men must be willing to travel within and face their past hurts, failures, misdeeds, trauma, shame, guilt, victimization, and powerlessness to reach the place of their wounds. . For example, in Star Wars, Luke Skywalker had to enter a deep dark cavern to fight and kill his own Darth Vader only to reveal that behind the helmet of his slain mortal enemy his own face appeared. The lesson here is that men who struggle with others often struggle with themselves in an attempt to resolve their secret pain, inner discord, shame, and guilt that emanate from their toxic wounds.

Our prisons are full of men who tried to heal their wounds through drugs, alcohol and violence, and yet they never found release. Young people take their wounds to the streets, others bury themselves in their work, while some seek to heal their wounds through religion, only to mask it with good works and use their dogma to hurt others. The only way to heal the wounds is to face the wounds, and that requires an act of courage that few men dare to perform. However, just as the caterpillar must come out of the bonds of its cocoon to gain strength to fly, the man must do the work of healing his wounds to free himself from anger, there are no easy shortcuts.

Love, forgiveness, acceptance are powerful remedies that often become ineffective, because they are rarely applied to the real wound, as few men know where their original wounds are hidden. Therefore, keep in mind that anger acts as a road sign indicating to man where wounds are hidden, and that by following anger through memories, emotions and experiences of the child within the man, the wounds are uncovered and healed. You can start.

The child who finds himself wandering the unconscious forest of the mind is lost and scared, and is often still in a rage at the perpetrators of his injuries so many years later in adulthood. The child knows where the wounds are hidden, but needs to feel safe traveling back through deep emotional pain to the event or events that hurt him. Working with a therapist at this point can be very helpful. Therapy is a “witness profession,” empowering the inner child to know that its hurts are being validated and affirmed by an objective and attentive observer-guide.

It is important to remember that there is hope and healing for angry men. Therapists often use “inner child therapy” as a method of reaching the child within the angry man in order to heal his “rejected and ashamed self.” Ultimately, connecting with the inner child and healing wounds is the most effective method of dealing with anger issues in men.

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