“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
― Gautama Buddha
Some people or situations make us angry. I noticed that in my life I’ve all the same patterns. For example, people who kind of piss me off, because I can’t handle them or I can’t tolerate their way of living or thinking. I break it down to my own responsibility, because it’s the most efficient way to stay away from negativity. Not getting involved in other people drama. It’s their movie not ours.
When we’re angry or feel insecure, we sometimes say things we don’t want to say or take actions which aren’t in balance with our actual truth. We say or do things, which we actually don’t mean or even really think and then regret it afterwards. Summarized: we add pain to someone else’s life and destroy their mood and in front of all, we add lots of pain to our own lives. We consciously create a space full of negativity. Is proving somebody wrong worth it? Is making somebody unhappy worth it? Is making ourselves unhappy worth it?
I had many situations in my life, where my ego was way too big to let people be “wrong” and while being involved in my anger, I did everything to verbally destroy them and when I proved them wrong and they kind of had to admit, that they’re wrong – I felt horrible. Thats the funny thing about soothing our egos – it never actually feels good.
Little life-example: recently, I had a situation, where somebody from my past made me wait for a long time again and additionally hurt my feelings. When he showed up, he was arrogant, nervous and as usual “too cool for school”, he couldn’t talk to me in a friendly manner, although he clearly could’ve apologized. He verbally and non-verbally tried to show me his superiority and fake coolness. Without going into details, in the first moments I was really angry and wanted to shout at him and tell him if he’s insane and that what he did is damn unfair etc. But then I looked at him and I saw a lost child, who can’t control his own emotions, his thoughts and his actions. He was completely out of control over the only controllable person: himself, mistakenly thinking, that he is manipulating me.
From here on, all I could feel is deep compassion. I was about to cry for his suffering of not being able to be kind, of not being able to fight his ego to be the good guy he would love to be.
Self-awareness practices help to be clear about “who we want to be vs. who we are now“. When something happens, which could unbalance me, I try to slip into the observer-role and remember who I want to be in this life and what truth I want to live. I try to always live the so called “cause-effect-dogma”: If I reacted to his ignorant behavior with a drama-discussion about fairness, his shitty behavior, what a jerk he is and what I deserve or don’t, I would’ve created a disaster. Instead, all I did is staying calm and tried to create a safe space for him and myself to exist in (and it was damn hard). After some time I jumped over my ego and asked him to hug me, he did it quite insecure, but I gave him the most tight hug I could and I knew that he calmed down. Even I felt bad, I knew that this is the mastery-exit out of this situation of my own anger. And I felt like a master of the universe indeed.
I’ve chosen self-love and self-peace over my ego in such a small daily situation and with it I spared myself and him lot’s of negative emotions. I was so happy about it, it was a little victory over my own shit.
And if we learn to act in most unpleasant situations in our lives in a way, that protects us and others – how beautiful would this life be? But how?
Evaluating the situation with a loving and calm mind: Most of our conflicts are based on nothing big and they don’t matter in the bigger picture, but cause lots of suffering on a daily basis. When there is such a dangerous situation, it makes sense to evaluate it and to ask ourselves, if it plays any role to prove the significant other wrong now or to argue aggressively. Sure, we can say our opinion, but in situations of anger it’s mostly impossible to express our opinion clearly, because we are dominated by anger. If this discussion won’t matter tomorrow, even after a week, a year – it’s not worth it. Letting other stay by their truth, even if this truth seems crappy to us, is the best choice we can make.
Deciding what kind of person we want to be: This is my favorite practice and it makes everything simple. I know, that I don’t want to be a nagging, negative, arguing woman, who takes everything personally. Nothing what others people say or do has to do with us. It’s their shit and we have ours. If they want to live a life full of drama, lies and cheats – bon voyage. I don’t. I want to hug my close people, I want to compliment other people, I want to cheer up for them and in front of all, give them the space to experience whatever. Their victories, their happiness, their inner worries, insecurities and expressions of love and kindness.
Being compassionate (in front of all to ourselves): Those angry people, who can’t handle their own ego and their emotions, imagine, how hard their lives could be? They have to deal with so much anger and feelings of an unfair world every day. And they don’t want to admit where that this anger doesn’t come from the outside. It’s what they generate and put out into the world. It’s from the inside. And if we realized, that all the emotions and situations are first born within us – all we can give to others, who didn’t find this key yet – is deep compassion. Like tight-hug-teddy-bear compassion. They suffer and don’t know how to deal with it. They can’t fight their egos to be kind and to feel good about themselves in a pure way.
When we succeed to apply these practices within the first few seconds of an arising drama, where we potentially will try to prove somebody wrong – we have won the fight. Arguing never really makes us happy and proving others wrong neither. What really fulfills is the control over our own negativity explosions and the calming power over other people. When we feel insecure how do we want to be treated? We want others to understand us and to be on our side. But when we don’t show integrity and endlessly try to prove others wrong, even in the most difficult situations, we only create bad vibes, negativity and suffering in and around us. The price of proving others wrong is very high and totally not worth paying, doesn’t matter how difficult it might be.
And if we don’t know how to act – I strongly believe that nobody can resist kindness, love and appreciation. Can somebody please prove me wrong? 😛
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