By AFEA member Nicky Douglas
As the evenings get lighter and slowly, almost imperceptibly, small shoots of Spring become visible in snowdrops and catkins, it feels as though nature is waking up. But with storm Dennis raging she seems angry too: perhaps she has been disturbed too soon from winter slumber.
In Five Element Acupuncture, Spring is the season associated with the Wood element with all its qualities of birth, growth, vision, creativity, purpose, hope. It is also associated with anger: the destructive power of a raging storm.
In his essay on Anger, David Whyte reconciles how these apparently contradictory experiences manifest in us:
“ANGER is the deepest form of compassion, for another, for the world, for the self, for a life, for the body, for a family and for all our ideals, all vulnerable and all, possibly about to be hurt. Stripped of physical imprisonment and violent reaction, anger is the purest form of care, the internal living flame of anger always illuminates what we belong to, what we wish to protect and what we are willing to hazard ourselves for. What we usually call anger is only what is left of its essence when we are overwhelmed by its accompanying vulnerability, when it reaches the lost surface of our mind or our body’s incapacity to hold it, or when it touches the limits of our understanding. What we name as anger is actually only the incoherent physical incapacity to sustain this deep form of care in our outer daily life; the unwillingness to be large enough and generous enough to hold what we love helplessly in our bodies or our mind with the clarity and breadth of our whole being. What we have named as anger on the surface is the violent outer response to our own inner powerlessness, a powerlessness connected to such a profound sense of rawness and care that it can find no proper outer body or identity or voice, or way of life to hold it. What we call anger is often simply the unwillingness to live the full measure of our fears or of our not knowing, in the face of our love for a wife, in the depth of our caring for a son, in our wanting the best, in the face of simply being alive and loving those with whom we live. Our anger breaks to the surface most often through our feeling there is something profoundly wrong with this powerlessness and vulnerability… Anger in its pure state is the measure of the way we are implicated in the world and made vulnerable through love in all its specifics”.
David Whyte – Consolations
In ‘A Return To Love’ Marianne Williamson writes:
‘… the place where we go to anger instead of love is our wall. Any situation that presses our buttons is a situation where we don’t yet have the capacity to be unconditionally loving.’
Spring perhaps teaches us how to awaken to and grow with compassion for our imperfections.