Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dealing with Anger

I just had an experience a couple of minutes ago that really sent me reeling...

A client of the website I work for requested an article written. I picked up the job, but realized there wasn't enough information to complete his request. I immediately sent him a message requesting more info four days ago, and today got a nasty message back.

I immediately wanted to shoot off a nasty message back in retaliation for the things he said. Instead, because I am mindful of the nasty things that anger can trigger me to do, I did not send a message.

Instead, I contacted the website I said I would like to give up the job due to the way I was treated, and calmly explained the situation using as little emotion as possible. And I started writing this post as a way to calm me down.

You see, anger is destructive. It's like pouring battery acid on my spirit. And I don't want to live that way today. The next time you become angry, try stopping instead of reacting, no matter what you want to do. Acting on your anger only fans the flames of negativity instead of putting them out.

Once you stop, take time to acknowledge the anger and look at the roots of it. Find out why you are angry, but instead of stuffing it down, embrace it. This is the first step in transforming your negative emotions.

Thich Nhat Hanh explains anger using the analogy of a knot. You must use mindfulness to untie the knot before it becomes tighter, or it will mess up your insides. If you have too many knots, you cannot allow maitri to flow freely through you.

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