Category Archives: Mental Health

Embrace Anger

The first time that I had a long-term relationship with a counselor (how can I write that so it doesn’t sound romantic?), at one of our first meetings, he asked me to buy and read the book “The Dance of Intimacy” by Harriet Lerner, PhD. I asked why I had to pay for counseling AND a book. Couldn’t he provide the book for free, or lend it, or tell me what’s in it, if it was so important? He said that I didn’t have to buy the book, but it would save time, and give us some common vocabulary as we discussed issues.

I bought the book, read it, and the following week, I reported that I did so, and asked “What’s next?” He looked stunned, and asked if I had any questions about the material covered. I said, no, I’m a good reader, and that it was all familiar concepts. I was eager to move on with this counseling process. He asked me to buy another book: “The Dance of Anger” by the same author. I rolled my eyes, bought it, sat down to read it cover to cover, and went “WHOA!!!!!” after just the first few pages. This book was completely over my head. I spent years reading and rereading sentence fragments, trying to make sense of the material. I never realized how angry I was, and how poorly I handled my anger.

The core lesson that I learned from the book is that anger indicates that I’m not saying how I feel or what I want. I remember that lesson often now.

Twenty years later, I am participating in an Anger Management course. I am continuing to learn how to recognize my anger, and to plan strategies for dealing with it in constructive ways. Here are some highlights so far:

Feeling angry can distract me from what I want

Anger can make me blame others instead of taking responsibility for what I want

Recognizing that I’m feeling angry can bring an important issue to my attention

Feeling angry can move me to do something constructive

How do YOU turn anger into your friend?

 

Image credit:
Red Hulk by Marcel Trindade, used under Creative Commons License by-2.0.

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Reaching Out: Social Justice Award

Bloggers Who Reach Out

Reaching out to others means at least calling out from a hole. I prefer when it means looking out to see what others are up to. I am even happier when it means interacting with others. The best is when we connect to grow.

Many bloggers reach out by interacting with readers on a regular basis. They produce posts from careful wording and editing and research. They give credit to their sources. Most of all, they shine light on issues that matter. I admire them, and want to express my appreciation by way of the Reaching Out: Social Justice Award.

Jenni of Unload And Unwind created the Social Justice Award to “acknowledge those whose work seeks to inform, aid and connect with others. It is a large world we live in and often there is such strife but the internet has made it smaller. Social media has given us the tools to make us closer and to find and disseminate new information and ideas, reach out to those who need it and speak out when there is injustice.”

I am one of her first nominees! I feel very honored to be recognized by a blogger who reaches out to many people while sharing her own challenges, in an inspiring way.

The conditions are:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and create a link back to their blog.
  2. Insert a Link back to the original award page to create a pingback so that Jenni can chart the progress of the award.
  3. Nominate no more than three people for this award, and write a short paragraph [or longer] saying why you chose each one, and what each one does.
  4. Display the badge somewhere on your blog, either in the sidebar or an awards page.

Honorable Mention

I am limited to three nominations. I would give the award to the following bloggers, but you have met them in other posts on my blog. Therefore, I am simply reminding you of them before I announce the award winners.

Jeff was the first person whom I thought of for this award. His blog Deconstructing Myths has been reaching out on WordPress since August 2012. He shines his light strongly and consistently on troubling issues, shares many links for further investigation, and stirs his readers to discuss the issues in his comments sections. His readers leave intriguing comments. His guest bloggers are some of the most outspoken people in favor of justice. On top of all of that, you can rely on his judgment when he guides you to some of the best of WordPress via his Jeffster Awards.

Jeff introduced me to Dandelion Salad, which has been a WordPress fixture since June 2007. It is a blog that acts much like a forum. DS has been one of the most useful places to find reports on events submitted by more than a dozen regular contributors (and many more less frequent ones), and articles and videos by the greatest Social Justice activists. This blog is quiet recently, only posting a few times each week instead of several articles every day, and its energy might resume if enough of us offer enough substantial support or persuasion.

Ohnwentsya posts numerous times every day on Spirit In Action. She began her blog in September 2011. Her posts are enlightening, empowering, and insightful. She collects articles from The Oracle Report, Truthout, Yes! magazine, and some of the other greatest sources. Her blog has the potential to provide nourishment for the roots of social justice movements, and a shift in planetary energy.

Award Winners

Many of the bloggers whom I read are equally qualified for this honor. I decided to come up with fair criteria to narrow the list of candidates, and select my three winners:

  • not previously featured on my blog
  • focuses on a social justice issue in a creative and effective way
  • promotes social justice by reaching out and connecting to share ideas that make us closer

I am awarding the Reaching Out: Social Justice Award to the following bloggers:

Carol of Voices From the Margins encourages conversations about how to raise awareness of diversity and its value. She describes using fascinating exercises in the cultural awareness workshops that she leads.

Danielle of Broken Light Collective presents a guest blogger each day who knows mental illness (personally, professionally, or socially), and who also photographs. Each image is inspiring, especially after reading the artist’s explanation of the significance of the photograph that they share. This blog is giving hope and support to people who are connected with mental illness. Photography is working as therapy for the photographers and viewers.

StoriesBellyHeader Diahann of Stories From the Belly appeals to sexual empowerment. She urges men and women to overcome shame by discussing — in healing ways — feminine and sexual experiences. She brings sex issues out of the closet, and repurposes the sex act as something for the participant(s) to completely enjoy.


I welcome comments about other social justice blogs that are important to share. (note: if you include “too many” links in your comment, the WordPress spam filter will hold it, and I will need to manually approve the comment. Please feel confident that I approve over 99% of the comments submitted to my blog — except unrelated advertising spam.)