tucsonIt feels more than a little ironic to me that living in Tucson, Arizona and with the recent tragedy that occurred here (with our local Congresswoman being shot at along with 19 others), while our monthly topic in Women on the Verge is “Angry Woman Quiet Woman”.


It feels more than a little ironic, that I typically don't “feel” very angry, very often. But witnessing the array of emotions I have been experiencing since the shootings, I am wondering if the real question for me is, “what does anger really look like for me?”


Raging is not my thing, so, I was confused by my symptoms. I was expecting myself to act in a stereotypical way to vent anger, which I guess, in looking back, I never have. Did this 22 year old kid taking the lives of 6 people, including a 9 year child make me angry? Yes. I felt very angry about it. But the way I demonstrated it confused me. Having the glaring light of our theme, made me watch myself in a way that I would not ordinarily do and this is what I found and perhaps I am not alone.


I felt angry about the following things (these are my things, so don't worry if you disagree).:

  1. Our mental health system is so badly in need of attention, that a person who is obviously in need of help was able to go into a store and buy an automatic weapon and ammunition with no red flags of warning. We need to put our people first, so an insane person is not overlooked or ignored.

  2. Gun control laws in the state of Arizona are out of control. Even as a vegetarian, I would not take away someone's right to bear arms, but does a person really need a gun to go into a grocery store? Didn't someone else already kill those chickens for you, so all you have to do is buy them? Leave your gun in the car when the only thing left to hunt is people, is what I think.

  3. I have been afraid of something like this happening since the 2008 election, when people would show up at political events (right here in Arizona) armed. Should people be allowed to go to a political event with a gun? I don't think so. Too volatile an environment.

  4. I felt deeply, deeply angry about a 9 year old child getting shot and dying. She didn't do anything to deserve this, and neither did her family.

  5. I felt angry that Gabby Giffords was only trying to be here for her constituents, and this is the pay back she gets. She was doing the right thing, and the outcome was horrifying.

  6. I felt heartbroken because as I watched the national news with Tucson's mountains in the background, I kept thinking, look how beautiful our town is... how could such an ugly event happen here?

My symptoms from all of these angry things were as follows:


  1. I felt powerless

  2. I cried - a lot

  3. I felt heartbroken


I can see why anger sometimes has been confused for sadness or frustration for me. Maybe even hormonal (gasp!). However, I now know, that my anger while, it may not be loud, it is deep, and I must respect it.


I respected my anger by first acknowledging it, then doing specific yoga sets to address it. According to my yoga practice, “If you can feel it, you can heal it.” So, I have been practicing, and working my way towards healing and most of all – being grateful. Most people are not lunatics. Most people are good. I am grateful to the majority.


I believe that everything happens for a reason, and sometimes it takes a horrible tragedy like this to make people stop and realize that what we're doing right now - it's not working. What do you think that we can do to change the environment that we are living in the US? What do you think needs to be done so that more innocent people aren't being murdered on the street while doing the right thing?

Ana Lewis

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