A wise man was asked what is anger? He gave a beautiful answer… It is a punishment we give to ourself, for somebody else’s mistake.
Is is really possible to just let go of anger?
To experience something that is offensive, intrusive, aggressive or other form of mental, verbal or physical hostility that contradicts our sense of fairness or invades our personal space… and just be chill about it?
Buddha said that holding onto anger is like holding onto a hot coal, you are the one who gets burned.
I have wrestled with this one for decades, presuming that I might be able to grow into that frame of mind. As of this writing, I confess I have not elevated myself to this level.
So I asked myself, why? If higher consciousness presumes that this is possible, what continues to hold me back, keeping me in a position of anger and annoyance when it would be so much healthier (for me) to let it go? I still do not have a great answer to this one. I can read this aphorism and other variants of such, and understand the lesson, recognize the benefits and yet, when the inflection moment strikes, I am reduced to the lowest vibrational frequency.
The logic of their argument makes great sense. If you can recognize that the inflection moment is what it is, and you can place a flashcard between you and your reaction, then you have a chance to respond, rather than reacting. That is the key difference.
A response is a calculated, thought-through reply. A reaction is knee jerk and is (in most cases) something that you will more than likely regret at a later time.
If we are wise and our mindset is mature, we are more able to recognize the act that causes the anger, compartmentalize it and take the necessary time to calculate our response. That said, more often than not, we just react. (Or at least, I most certainly do). But over the years, as my reactions have caused me further distress and my responses have pushed me further towards the places I really wish to grow, it has become easier to find the buffer that quells the reaction and elevates the likelihood of finding the solace to generate a proper and fitting response.
Our reactions to another’s do cause us a penalty in life. There is no denying it. If nothing else, each and every minute we spend working to reduce the anger they caused us is time in our life wasted on needless emotion. You might reply that it is natural and perhaps so, but just because it is natural, does not mean it is healthy.
So the next time you find your anger triggering, I invite you to try to place a similar flashcard in your mind that says, “why would I sacrifice part of my life with needless feelings to repay them for their thoughtless behavior?”
Hope it works!