We are amazing creatures. Our essence is truly good. Not a dualistic good, but inherently so. Years ago, I realized I had been mistaken my entire life. I had to do something about it. This is that something. It takes much concerted effort to change our lives, but once we choose to do so and continue making that choice with every breath and every step that we take, that is the essence of transformation. There are countless opportunities every day, and we are blessed to be in this together.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
The Anger Within
We all become upset and frustrated. When we do, the mind
wants to act out this frustration. Instead of compassion for ourselves, we
create a target. This can be an external target or the target can also be our
self; destructive or self-destructive potentials co-exist. Instead of being
patient, we become uptight and lash out. Or, we use every frustration as a way
to demean ourselves or others. Instead of attempting understanding, the mind
jumps from being present to auto-pilot, often instantaneously.
If we’re constantly losing it and then lashing out at
ourselves or our environment, we need to interrupt this cycle. There are simple
things we can do to achieve this interruption and return us to being present. First,
we should explore this feeling called anger.
What is present in every instance that we’ve ever been
angry? We are. It is understandable to disagree with this, and if we do
disagree, we should challenge ourselves to find one instance where we weren’t
present when we were angry. Certainly, conditions are constantly in flux as are
the people living within those conditions. However, we are the only common
thread in every instance of anger.
When we realize that this anger is part of us, we gain some
ownership and care over it. This is not easy to do, especially in the hot heat
of anger. Consistently, we would much rather someone else to be the source or
cause of our anger. It is true that an external person’s actions may water the
seed of anger within us, but this can only happen when we don’t have adequate
compassion for ourselves and others.
If we experience the truth directly about any situation, it
makes it immediately manageable. There is anger within us. It’s ours to take
care of, and we cannot exile it from our lives. When we experience anger, we
should take care of it instead. When someone is watering the seed of anger
within us, we need to apply understanding and compassion: understanding that
the anger is ours, not theirs; compassion that the watering originates from a
place of pain, suffering and ignorance.
It is, after all, our own ignorance that believes that others
make us angry. They only expose the anger that’s already with us. We must also
be aware that the anger we’ve not adequately taken care of in the past has
watered the seed of anger in others. As we begin to care for our anger, we will
eventually let it loose on others once again. When we do water the seed of
anger in others, we must understand this can be redirected in our direction and
can infect our environment. In these aftermath moments when our anger is being
watered as a direct result of what we’ve said or done, it is difficult to not
react similarly, perpetuating the cycle.
We can break this cycle. And, we are the only ones that can.
Our anger is truly our own. We must not only have an intellectual understanding
that this is true, but we must also learn to believe it at an ever deepening
emotional level. As we begin to see the reality of our anger more clearly, our
anger won’t be watered so often. We’ll begin to take care of our anger instead
of conditions and others controlling us. With ever diminishing frequency, we
won’t water the seed of anger in others. We will see anger for what it actually
is, just a seed within us that needs care and attention.