These five little words, uttered to generation after generation of women by their parents, partners, other women and society, have repressed women the world over, causing women to lose their natural and essential gift of assertiveness.
For me, anger itself is not a negative but very natural emotion which occurs when an individual’s boundaries are overstepped.
In essence, our personal boundaries are what keep us safe. If you can imagine yourself as a house with a garden at the front, your house will have “boundaries. These boundaries could be a wall, fence or the front/back doors and windows. In an ideal world, we would all live in harmony. We would respect each other’s boundaries without the need for garden walls or fences.
Alas, the reality of the world we live in today is far removed from this. Healthy personal boundaries are important for our physical, mental and spiritual health.
So, when our personal boundaries are overstepped, it is a natural instinct to be angry. Just as you would feel angry if someone broke into your home and stole your possessions. You would feel fearful, threatened, scared and well…angry! And you would have every right to do so.
Women are expected to conform and deny their natural right to be angry when their personal boundaries are overstepped. Whether through physical, mental or emotional abuse, women are forced “Swallow their Anger” or “Bite their Tongue” which means the damage inflicted upon them dwells deep inside.
Some woman keep this anger deep inside as they try to conform to what society dictates. For most, this anger can only be internalised for so long. Eventually, this anger will spew out like a volcano, normally aimed at someone who doesn’t deserve it at that point in time. Once calm again, the person feels guilt and shame, making promises to themselves “I won’t get angry again”.
Either way, by swallowing their anger or having it explode uncontrollably, all self-power is lost. The cycle begins and is repeated again and again. Anger turns into a negative emotion when it should be a natural survival instinct. by becoming a negative emotion, it prevents us from treating others with respect.
I explain rather than express anger by asserting my right to hold my boundaries allows me to channel my anger when my boundaries have been overstepped.
I often think of this as the Lioness within the jungle. Fierce, proud and resilient yet a gentle and nurturing mother, she is one of the most assertive creatures in the animal kingdom. She has strong boundaries and uses her roar to keep others away when they are threatening her and her pride’s boundaries. Her roar is her assertiveness yet she remains calm and in control and only uses it when necessary.
In the animal kingdom, if she didn’t use this natural gift, she would be under constant threat. She faces death from not showing her anger or having to continually fight, risking her life.
Either way, she would not be in her power. By using her roar, she keeps others away from her personal boundaries making her life easier. She remains in her power and only uses aggression by attack when necessary.
While we don’t live by the rules of the jungle where weakness is likely to lead to death, it is a fantastic example of feminine assertiveness.
So ladies, it is time for us all to use our natural gift of assertiveness and speak our own truth. If there is person or situation that over steps your boundaries, be it a friendship, relationship, job, something that happens in the community or the world at large, my advice to you is to step into your power and gain the respect that you deserve.
Stand your ground and develop your own roar. Use it only when needed and with respect, when your boundaries are truly threatened, and show you are a female force to be reckoned with.
Once you have found your roar and see the changes it brings about for you, take time to imagine what would happen if every woman spoke her truth and roared as one for the good of the pride that is humankind. It would truly be a spectacular sight to behold and could bring much-needed change to the world!
(c) Samantha Wilson 2016. All Rights Reserved.