Reflection: “Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it
at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." - Buddha
Are you angry? Will you answer that question honestly? Most people like to think they do not hold onto anger. My friend and author, Ruth King, in her book, “Healing the Rage” tells that everyone has a place of anger (rage) within. Many ancient writings refer to this as ‘the dark place’ or, ‘the dark night.’ Whatever it is called, each human being has the flash within that goes off as instantly as the strobe on a camera. The flash on your picture taking device, whatever it may be, goes off when the room is too dark. The flash of a human being goes on when the human is too dark! I like to think of myself as an extremely patient person, yet I know that there are things that bring my darkness to the forefront. As I know what these things are I am able to anticipate when they are about to drop into my energy field and do what I need to keep my flash from flaring. Yes, I acknowledge that I feel the blaze, and then I immediately look to the other side of the situation for my reaction.
Not the dark side…
What is the other side of an angry reation? I like to describe it as the grace and dignity side. You may use any adjective you wish, for example – calm, patience, kindness, clarity, tranquility, serenity, composure (I use these too.) These are behaviors that one must practice in order to implement their use at any given moment.
We are born with all of these lovely ways of being. We are also all too often born with anger roiling just under the surface. Life experiences and those we look to for guidance help direct us toward one side or the other. Now is a good time to give a bit of thought to the ways you react in situations that are less than pleasant, as well as giving some attention to the reactions of those around you. Take a deep, cleansing breath and perform a momentary review. What is playing on the screen in your mind?
Do you recall the ways in which you responded as a child? Were you quick to cry when frustrated; were you convinced that yelling was a good way to get what you wanted: were you easily hurt by the words and actions of others? As you grew, were angry words out of your mouth before your filter kicked in? Do you have a tendency to want to take a swing at whatever is annoying, aggravating or frustrating you? Does the decibel level of your voice increase in equal measure to your irritation? Each of these reactions is indicative of learned behavior.
Back to the drawing board…
It would be great if you could go all the way back to the beginning of you and watch as in a video, the dramas, traumas, joys and happy days of your early life to see where precedents were established. As it stands, you can only really conjure up your side of whatever story it is that you are reviewing and go from there. In this analysis of what has long since passed, it is your story to recite as you see fit. Whatever the story look for the way in which you interpreted the outcome; it is this translation that established your choice of reactions going forward. If what you learned is not serving you in an honorable way, would you say it is time to let it go? When you rewrite, you have the power to change the outcomes of each story in order to receive from each the positive lesson rather than the hurt, trauma or negatives. Do you need to rewrite every tale of your life in order to release ‘what was’?
If you have the luxury of time on your side, by all means, rewrite your stories; having said that, it is not necessary to rewrite all in order to liberate yourSelf of the negative reactions in your life. As you have hopefully taken the time to review as suggested in the “Not the dark side” paragraph, it may simply be a matter of making a life choice. What do you want life to look like moving forward, what are you designing, what are you willing to simply release?
Every day brings with it the gift of newness, a chance to start over. This provides you with the ability to observe your own behavior and listen intently to the signals your body emits at just about every moment. If you feel your jaw clench, your ‘gut’ tighten, your shoulders inch up toward your ears, your neck tighten into a piece of oak - you are exhibiting stress-filled reactions. Paying attention to these indicators is a great way to put a stop to them in the moment. Here’s a quick self quiz you can do right in that moment of stress: Question 1 – Am I safe in this moment? Question 2 – Does my reaction honor ME? Question 3 – Have I allowed my ‘judge’ to take over? And, Question 4 -Am I reacting based on the critical eye of the ‘judge’?
To receive a passing grade on the quiz, the answers need to be: 1.) Yes, I am safe right this very moment;
2.) Yes, my reaction is one of respect for both myself and those around me; 3.) The judge was stopped at the door -Which answers Question 4! No judge, no judgment! Any other responses will not help you to let loose the dark energies of yesterday or yesteryear; nor will they serve to permit your higher Self to shine through. Once again, look to that which you want your life to be. Is anger something that serves you in the long term; brings you peace of mind; and displays the love and joy you are capable of living and giving to yourSelf and to those in your life circle? Please reread this last question.
Now take one of those delicious, deep, cleansing breaths. Walk away from this lesson and when ready, come back and read it again! Complete the review and take the quiz. Then do the work. You can take baby steps each and every day as you progress through the work. The results will be amazing!