Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist. He calls anger a “habit energy.” A quick reaction to a situation or an event can trigger a response of anger. Just drive in your car and see how fast anger shows up, and how you respond. Zero to bitch happens to me sometimes, and when I become aware of that moment, I see myself, my behavior, not so much the other guy.
We need all our emotions to guide us and inform us about what is going on within and around us. Without this compass, we would be void of expressions and emotions.
Often we beat ourselves up with our emotions, naming them, and shaming ourselves with negative self-talk and expressing them upon ourselves and others.
Our emotional habits offer us opportunity to see ourselves deeply if we are willing to take a look with a compassionate heart. To understand that all our emotions are a part of knowing ourselves more and others too.
Most often the emotional triggers are deeply rooted in some storyline that we believe to be true about ourselves and the outside world.
Next time you feel anger towards yourself, someone, something or a situation, ‘pause’ if possible; that can be possible when you are aware that anger controls you in a lot of situations.
Anger is always pointing towards something about ourselves. It is an opportunity to see where we get hung up. It is a chance to react differently, to give yourself compassion and understanding.
Anger won’t go away; it is a necessary emotional component of our humanness, it sets our personal boundaries, it wakes us up, and it comes and goes. With awareness, we can become unstuck in our ingrained habit of reactions and learn to express ourselves in a much kinder way. Karla McLaren says, when we channel emotional energy mindfully, it restores our boundaries and sense of honor. When mismanaged it dishonors all you are in contact with including yourself.
If you want to get in touch with what your feelings are trying to tell you, Karla McLaren wrote a fantastic, insightful book, ‘The Language of Emotions.’
Practice peace even in a moment of anger! Dolby Dharma
“When you say something unkind, when you do something in retaliation your anger increases. You make the other person suffer, and he will try hard to say or to do something back to get relief from his suffering. That is how conflict escalates.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames