I reread a passage in my favorite book the other day that sat with me heavily. The book is Being Peace, by Thich Nhat Hanh, and is a great read in Buddhist philosophy. In a nutshell; it’s beautifully simple on the effects of finding, creating, or being love. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like our world could use a whole lot more of that these days.
The idea that stuck with me is that we detach ourselves from our anger and refuse to take ownership in it. It’s true, we are a society of people who are quick to anger. We are so afraid of looking weak that we refuse to experience emotional pain, skipping over it to jump immediately to anger. In anger, we feel as though we hold the power. If you are hurt you are the victim. If you are mad you are choosing your reaction. That is all we are in vulnerability; action versus reaction.
In anger, we create a quick-reaction approach every time; because we have not created a relationship with that feeling and do not understand how to effectively process it. Take a glass jar of water, and pour some mud in. Shake it up and set it back down. You can not see through the silt and the darkness and the dirt. But if you leave the glass to sit for awhile, after time it starts to sift itself out. Eventually the mud settles to the bottom, and you can see through the clear water again. Reacting in our anger is trying to see the problem and its solution through the silt.
When you let your emotion rest before reacting you are taking the space to offer yourself a life ring. People and our emotions- we have a funny way of sifting our silt, and our shit, out. What could happen if the next time we anger we choose to hold our tongue for a bit? Sit on it, but don’t stew. There is a difference and this is it. Create an internal dialogue; this is my anger, my anger is me. I am getting to know my frustrations. Where is the root? How do I want my emotions to be received? What is it I want to change? What am I trying to say?
Let your glass sit. And then take ownership. Owning where you’re at is the most valuable trait you can cultivate. If you can’t except where you’re at, how will the person you are trying to communicate with be able to? Make peace with the frustration because it is okay and valid to experience. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you a person. Proceed forward when your water is clear. Most emotional pain in life can be traced back to hasty and untruthful reactions.
Remember how precious your truth is, and don’t be afraid to choose from your highest perspective.
As many chances as that takes. Be kind enough with yourself to use the life ring. Let the silt settle.