Manage That Anger, Mindfully

We all get angry very easily, at ourselves, our loved ones, sometimes even at strangers. Anger is a powerful emotion, and it is up to you if you want to simply experience it, manage it mindfully, or act up on it. It is an internal organic energy, and if not channelized the right way can lead to major self-destruction and irreversible damage. It comes with the excess baggage of jealousy, violence, aggression, hatred, greed, disappointment, pride, ego and delusion. It can easily flare up, take over the personality in entirety, if a person is not prepared to deal with it in a healthy manner.
I have experienced anger in its worst forms and allowed it to take over my life over and over again. This anger arose in me after I lost my father to cancer, 7 years ago, when I lead myself to believe that I didn’t do everything I should’ve done during this time of debacle; when the truth is that I did everything I could’ve, given the situation. The self-loathing had me see myself and my life crumble in front of my own eyes. I had to shake myself off of it, open my eyes and question myself, “is this what my father would have wanted to see if he were around?”
We let our anger over the most trivial subject get the better of us, without even realizing it. We do realize the consequences of it, and yet succumb to it. It has the power to end or burn up all or any healthy relationships. I’m not saying that one must avoid or suppress one’s anger, god knows I’ve done that, and it only makes things worse. A fifth-century Indian Buddhist scholar Buddhaghosa, had this to say in reference to acts of anger, “By doing this, you are like a man who wants to hit another, and picks up a burning ember or excrement in his hand and so first burns himself or makes himself stink.”
We need to learn to master the art of treating anger as a beautiful sensation we have the advantage of feeling, without letting it take over us, cloud our judgments and make us sick. We need to take over that sensation instead, love our ability to feel it, patiently accept and tolerate it and not over react. Any reaction at the time of mounting internal pressure would amount to ‘over-reaction’. We need to release this pressure and thus open doors to superior communication and meditation. Yoga is a tool to help us achieve just that and beyond.
To help practice the patient acceptance, at times you feel defeated, disappointed, hurt, impossible, ask yourself one question : how much will this affect my life a few weeks, months or a year from now??? Then you will find yourself smiling almost immediately!!!
Lavanya Chandran

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