Rising Above Anger

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    • #465801
      David the Gnome
      • Total Posts: 3,344

      This is something I have been thinking about lately.  Various events in my life in the past and the present have led me to realize… that I am really pissed off.  I know I’m not alone in that.  I just wanted to share a conclusion.

      These last few years have given me a great deal of time to think. To reflect, to consider my path and where it has brought me. One thing I want to share is something I learned a long time ago.
      When I was younger, through most of my teens and twenties, I was angry. I was angry at the world, at the injustices, angry enough that it festered within me until I began to hate people. Those who bullied or hurt me as a kid, people who I thought ruined me, ruined my life. I remember one day standing in the mall – and really wanting to hurt people – because I hated everyone at that point, or at least I thought I did.
      It was at that time that I realized it was eating me, eating my soul, all the better parts of who I was. Anger had turned to rage and then to hatred, to the point where I had a desire to bring pain and misery to others. This led to the realization that, for all that anger and hate I felt for others, I felt even more for myself. For all my weaknesses, my flaws, everything I had failed at, every time I had let someone push me around without fighting back.
      I could go into detail about why, about the things I went through that made me that way, but that doesn’t really matter in regards to the conclusion I reached. I could no longer live with who I was. It was ripping me apart and hurting other people.
      This is what taught me the concept I am speaking of now – that anger can lead to transcendence. Not by itself, not immediately – and certainly not in every situation. First it requires an understanding of why we are angry, at what – and how much of that is based on anything real. How much is self delusion, lying to ourselves, feeling sorry for ourselves, even self hatred.
      One night, at the height of that anger and hatred, I meditated. I reached within myself for something to make me better. Slowly, I came to think of those who had hurt me throughout my life, every bully, every wrong, every rejection and insult as much as I could recall them. The next step… was to imagine myself in their shoes. As them. To use logic, reason and empathy (which are not as incompatible as some think) to understand why.
      Eventually, in every situation, I could imagine a path that led to someone hurting others, or wanting to. In every situation I could see that it is the sum of our experiences that make us what we are. In every situation, I was able to forgive. Not to condone bad things done, not to say they were okay, but to understand and to forgive. That is the nature of both empathy and mercy… it isn’t easy. That was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Letting go.
      I have realized lately that a lot of that anger is back, that perhaps it never fully went away. It is not the same as before – I have no desire to hurt anyone. I am angry though, at the lies of the world. The institutions, the politicians, the media, the war profiteers and so on and so forth. In order to be able to deal with that, I have to accept it, to be able to forgive it – while still being able to act in opposition, in accordance with my principles.
      I’m not there yet. My point though, is that anger, rage, even hate – can all be overcome. They can be let go of – and when you are able to do that, anger leads to transcendence. To a better part of being human, to our capability for empathy, for understanding, for forgiveness.
      There is so much pain in the world – and in most of us, so much suffering, that it is very hard to let it go. I’m not there yet, not ready to take that next step – but I am working on it. Doing it before very likely saved my life. Saved me from myself, from becoming someone I could truly not have lived with.
      I believe this is possible for everyone. To make a choice, to search within ourselves for our deepest truths. So if you feel like I once did, or like I do now… there is still hope. It is realized when you can combine it with action and with self realization. I’m not preaching – just saying… there is a way. No matter how ugly things get, or how ugly we may feel inside, when we look deeper, there is something beautiful, peaceful – something that redeems us human beings.
    • #465813
      Utopian Leftist
      • Total Posts: 925

      Anger is a natural and, yes, healthy response to injustice.

      If I wanted to, I could be angry all the time. Literally. There is that much injustice in our world right now.

      Mark Twain said that people ought, every day, to experience the entire gamut of emotions: from anger to terror and from peace to joy. I am no longer hard on myself when I experience anger. But I try to remember the Buddhist perspective that holding onto anger is like picking up a glowing, hot rock to throw at an enemy: it is you who will be burned.

      “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~ Krishnamurti
      "Given the choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, the voter will choose a Republican every time." ~ Harry Truman

    • #465814
      • Total Posts: 359

      We cannot let our anger make us weak.

    • #465823
      • Total Posts: 2,989

      But yes, do endeavor to rise above anger! K&R

      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

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