Recently a dear friend found out that the person who she was in a relationship with was lying to her– for o v e r a y e a r. If you have been in a similar situation (as I have) you can imagine how “fuck you” might be an appropriate response…
Sometimes it takes a traumatic event to jolt us into the reality that a relationship is not so nurturing, not so reciprocal, not so healthy.
Why does it have to get to that point before we are able to confidently say fuck you? Why do we prefer instead to go to:
What did I do wrong?
How can I fix myself? (my particular fave)
How can I understand the other’s behavior better?
What does this person need from me?
Don’t get me wrong, these are great questions. But we should also be asking What do I need? Am I being treated with the kindness, consideration and understanding that I offer the relationship? What are my boundaries? Are they being respected?
Sometimes saying “fuck you” to someone else is actually saying “yes” to yourself. Now I know there are people who are quick to dispense with the fangul. This post is not for them.
This post is for those of us who have trouble being with our anger. For those of us who try our darndest to be kind, considerate, compassionate, understanding and forgiving
all most of the time…
I’m willing to bet that most folks have some sort of tenuous relationship to anger. Either being the aggressor or being the victim of anger expressed in an unhealthy way… And, still, anger is an important signal.
We tell ourselves many reasons anger is not okay: We don’t want to appear the instigator. We don’t want to appear nasty or mean. We want to take responsibility. We don’t want to alienate ourselves from love. We don’t want to be wrong. We don’t want to be unkind or unfair. This is all good, except when it denies us the opportunity to create a space for ourselves.
And I don’t know about you, but that repressed anger ends up getting bottled up in rage, passive aggressive behavior, compulsive behavior, controlling behavior, extra pounds, you name it…
It’s difficult to articulate what exactly expressing anger in a healthy way looks like. But I do know that we can’t really skip over that step and be in touch with all of who we are.
Anger has a place.
As one of my spiritual teachers once reminded me: Jesus turned over the tables of the money changers at the temple in Jerusalem and chased out the merchants. He was angry that a place of worship was turned into a market place. Anger was appropriate, necessary even. In this case, it was standing up against a boundary being crossed, a trust broken, a disrespect of the sacred.
Feeling and being with your anger is sometimes appropriate, necessary.
On an individual level, it creates more space. It gives us a place. Sometimes we need to employ binary thinking: No to you, is Yes to me…
Fuck you = I deserve better. I’m worthy.
I suspect that the more practice we have with this, the better able we will be to hold both compassion for the other and compassion for self (while maintaining a healthy boundary).
Until then, let yourself have the fuck you, even if for an hour or a day.
Write a fuck you poem.
Sing a fuck you song.
You don’t need to share it with anybody. You can do it in the privacy of your own home. It can be our little secret.
Try being angry without necessarily expressing it to the object of your “fuck you”. Reflect on how the fuck you might actually be saying “I love me”.
What part of you needs gentle attention? What part of you needs protecting?What part of you needs defending? What part of you needs to be taken care of and nurtured? I know it might sound crazy, but perhaps the fuck you is a first step in really loving yourself.
There’s a part of you that knows the object of your disdain is acting out of his or her own wounds. And still, they deserve the middle finger…
You are not doing anyone any favors by being too nice. You’re not even helping the other person– they might actually need someone to tell them to fuck off. They might learn an important lesson from it…
Notice what happens when you stop beating yourself up for being angry and mean and you view anger as a kind of victory. The victory is you claiming your place. Saying I matter. I get a say in how I want to be treated.
You can always come back to the understanding and compassion later. But understand this: If you skip over the anger. Skip over the fuck you. Skip over the I deserve better, so get to steppin. You are actually skipping over YOU.
with much love, E
Now if you find yourself being that “angry person” and going a little O.D. with the F.U.’s go back to this step: Who is needing defending? What right here in the present (but also likely in your early past) is threatening my sense of safety and well being? How can I give that part of me the space and safety I need? xoxo