I was hosting a webinar on the power of creativity as an outlet to contextualize any hard lived experiences when someone brought up the topic of anger.
Grab the popcorn, settle back, because we are in for a ride.
If you’ve gone through hell and aren’t holding some resent, you’re lying. I lost my mom when I was 10 years old. If the day ended in the letter “y”, I was angry.
As a 21-year-old, I was my grandma’s primary caretaker and was put in the position of making end of life decisions for my second (and last) mom. I was livid at too many institutions and people to count.
My anger though wasn’t fruitless, which is what the question during the webinar was insinuating. The person had lost their partner and was angry. The more they expanded on the story of their person’s death, the angrier we all got. It’s a human reaction to react to loss and hard moments. Sometimes that reaction is tear-filled and sadness, other times (most times) it’s anger, jealousy, anxiety, or plain-old despair.
None of it disqualifies you from being a creative human or using creativity to process those feelings.
Here’s why — creativity was made for those who wanted to add layers to feelings others underestimate with simple definitions. Anger doesn’t just mean mad. It means lonely, it means devastated, it means scared.
It looks like art. It looks like a crocheting a blanket for comfort. It can look like sitting and finding a way out of it or deeper into it, all in an effort to better understand it and yourself.
I’ve written before about how grief and jealousy can be a roadmap and the same can be said about anger. When we let go of how other people define or vilify anger, we can see it for all it is — the tip of the iceberg to what we actually feel or need.
Being angry will never make us bad people. Yes, we need to watch out for the red flags that come with holding onto anger for too long, but if you’re trying to figure out how to be creative while angry — you’re already on the right for you path.