I told myself I wouldn’t post any new blog content until I had found a new paying client. And well, here I am offering more free labor and content. I also said I'd permit myself to be intentionally petty and passive-aggressive all Aries season. But it's already not going well, and it's only March 30, 2021. We're not even into April Aries yet, and that's fire-fire.

April Aries is reckless all the way tun up. Not to be confused with March Aries. Like January Aquarius is not the same type of Aquarius as February Aquarius. Part 2 just amplifies all tendencies associated with each sign. There are levels and nuance. Those who know, know. (I'm for sure an honorary April Aries).

Anyway, lately, I’ve found myself more triggered and activated than usual. This Aries fire season is threatening to burn everything down. And I pretty much burned all the bridges already. The smallest things bother me. My insecurities are bubbling to the surface. And my ego is like, “oh, you thought spring was the only thing that’s sprung, surprise, here I am, and in full bloom.” I’m finding it harder to “control” my emotions. My responses to being emotionally activated are knee-jerk and reactive. I’m wanting to blame others, rather than address my issues. This is not to shame or pathologize such challenges that come up for me from time to time. But it’s a pattern I want to disrupt and break.

So, to brace myself for April Aries season, when I want to get straight-up aggressive, petty, defensive, or reactive, I ask myself: “na anka eb3y3 den na ay3 wo ya?”

This line comes from a hi-life song by Nana Acheampong called, “na anka eb3y3 den.” If you listen to the lyrics, this song is so petty and passive-aggressive in its own right. If it had a meme, it would be the one with the caption, "Girl, if you go back to him, you're a clown”. With sis dressed like a clown smiling and proud of it. Walking back to him, saying, "Me:" The song asks us, “Why you mad tho?” Not a literal translation. But still. Ask yourself that. I am. Especially as we move through more fire, before finally reaching Taurus and grounded earth season again.

Asking myself why things bother me in the first place de-escalates the situation pretty quickly.

It makes me realize a few things. 1) it's not about me, it’s not personal. Don Miguel Ruiz’s work highlights this as 1 of the 4 Agreements. Even if the sub feels directed at me, it is more of a reflection of where each individual is at in the given moment. 2) I actually don't care at all, but the template in me that loves drama and toxicity is trying to come out and play. Others like Maryam Hasnaa have shared that drama is addictive and we get addicted to drama. This has been true for me. It's so much easier to be maladaptive. Adaptive mechanisms feel so boring and passive when chaos has been your norm. Dr. Thema made me aware of this in my life. 3) It's showing me work that I still have yet to do. That self-awareness and observing our thought patterns to not repeat bad actions, unconsciously react poorly, or subconsciously misbehave is no feat for the weak.

This is why I’m so interested in what Sara Ahmed calls, “the cultural politics of emotions.” She reminds us that emotions are relational. They move us. I don’t mean to say that we are always moved by emotions unconsciously, or that as humans we have no free will, agency, or control over our emotions. We are not passive receipts of affect and emotions. And some bad behavior is oppressive and a sign of what bell hooks calls, "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy".

And also, our societies don’t teach us about emotions in any real way that communicates to us that we are: 1) not our emotions, 2) we can control our emotions, they don’t have to control us, 3) our emotions are not our enemy, 4) emotions can teach us a lot.

Think about it. That is socio-culturally political.

If you don’t teach the masses that they can control their emotions and instead, reproduce the idea that emotions are benevolent, childish, and feminine. No one pays any real attention to them. Which is when emotions are most likely to control us, and unconsciously. This is “productive” for a capitalist economy that would rather not have us think too deeply about anything. And instead, act out, fight each other, and be separated from others because emotions are tied to our actions and behaviors. We act bad, get cast out. We piss others off, get disconnected. We buy and consume, feel terrible, and buy and consume some more. Capitalists love it.

Shame is relational indeed. It will move us away from one another. It will keep us isolated and alone. It will remove us from community and move us to push others out of community. I know because I studied the role of shame in my life. I am indeed separated and isolated. I’m only now at the healing and recovery stage. Trying to figure out what re-entry means daily. Learning to build trust and community again. This post is a reminder that shame is not conducive to healthy interpersonal relationships. It results in much repair work. And repair we must.

To better understand how emotions move me away from others, I’m trying to be more intentional about how I respond to my triggers. Pay attention to what activates me. Sit through the discomfort of wanting to lash out and be reckless. This may not bring me any closer to others per se, but at least I’m not actively moving myself away through self-sabotage and self-destruction. Which only delays social justice work, and outright threatens to dismantle it.

As the fires of Aries season beckon us in. Let’s all think about the role of shame and other emotions. I’m now permitting myself to intentionally ground as I patiently wait for the support of earth season. How about you? Is all the Aries fire making you extra spicy? Do you want to knuck, even when they don't buck? What are some tools that have been grounding you?

Until next time, in solidarity.

Photo Cred: Dorothy Attakora-Gyan

Image Description: A red towel with a blood clot shaped like a heart, or two-breasts. Normalize menstrual cycles this Aries season.