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Reflections: From Anger to Awareness…

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Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.” Gautama Buddha

Reflections: From Anger to Awareness… Anger symbol...a needle eager to burst a balloon

Anger: A strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath; ire.
Several years ago, as I boarded a subway train in Manhattan, a face caught my attention; it was the face of a woman seated at the far left corner of the subway car. She was perched half off her seat; wearing a black coat with a colorful paisley scarf around her neck. But what caught my attention? Her face was permanently etched in an angry scowl; her mouth turned down in a pout, her eyes set in a glare and forehead furrowed from years of fury. She was not angry at that moment for she gave me a quick smile when she noticed I was staring at her. What struck me was the memory of my grandmother’s words, something she said whenever any of the kids were furious, “Wipe that anger off your face, for angry people end up with a permanent scowl on their faces.” If we harbor anger towards another person and make no attempt to resolve it, it also manifests in other ways; sarcasm, bitter humor, scathing remarks and even hypocrisy. Countering our anger through Awareness and self-effort is key…

As Emerson said, “For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.” Ralph Waldo Emerson  When we get angry, every nerve, every vessel, our heart and our mind become fully engaged in responding to the message within that we are under attack and need to defend ourselves. It can lead to a heart attack, headaches, illness and violence. It takes less effort to smile than it takes to wrinkle our faces, with eyes bulging, heart palpitating, and explode in anger. Even when we think we have overcome our anger, it comes out in insidious ways through petty resentments and passive aggressive behavior. In the long run, our anger hurts us.

“In a controversy, the instant we feel anger, we have already ceased striving for truth and have begun striving for ourselves” Abraham Joshua Heschel

Reflections: From Anger to Awareness… Awareness/Consciousness process

Anger is a powerful emotion that can be used in both destructive and constructive ways. When we channel our anger into productive work; using that energy as a creative outlet for our writing, painting, music, or for exercise, it helps dissipate the rage and guides us to find constructive methods to communicate our concerns. Meditation and prayer can help us refocus our angry thoughts and most of us know that we can use our breath to help us calm down. Don Miguel’s prayer below is also a powerful affirmation to use. If anger constantly clouds our decisions, then anger management classes or therapy is probably a good way to deal with it… We must do so for our own survival, for anger is toxic and can poison our bodies and our relationships. As we become aware of the damage anger can do to our psyche, we can must tackle it. Do you know someone harboring angry thoughts? What good does it serve if we resist communicating or avoid looking at the underlying cause of our anger?

Reflections: From Anger to Awareness… first color contrast; the form remains even when the color changes

Let us be aware of our power to create a dream of heaven where everything is possible. Help us to use our imagination to guide the dream of our life, the magic of our creation, so we can live without fear, without anger, without jealousy, without envy.  Don Angel Miguel Ruiz

Below are some helpful articles from one of my favorite websites Daily OM. The articles offer insights and tips on how to deal with anger and move forward with our lives. I hope you enjoy reading them. Lest I forget, the blog hop continues (See sidebar). Update your post and meet some new bloggers. 🙂

Demolishing Anger’s Walls“It is when anger has no outlet and morphs into resentment that it carries with it the potential to cause turmoil.”

 A Different Approach To Anger “Wanting to seek revenge against somebody hurts us as our energy is lowered to a lower form with these thoughts.”

Stepping Back from Anger “The emotional trigger that begins an argument may have little to do with your present situation, but has dug up a wound.”

Acknowledging Our Pain “Sometimes the strong desire to help and rescue others is actually a call to help our own deep seated pain.”

Don’t forget that below is a story that teaches us about anger, the damage it can do and how to resolve it. Please read it and share your thoughts. May your week be filled with peace and light. 🙂

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”  Gautama Buddha

Reflections: From Anger to Awareness… Wooden Fence

The Fence ~ by Anon 

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper.  His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence.  Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down.  He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.  The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.  The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.  He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence.  The fence will never be the same.  When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one.”  You can put a knife in a man and draw it out.  But it won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound will still be there.

A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Anger does not help build friendships. If someone has offended you, bring it to their attention in a calm voice. Misunderstandings occur so don’t be in a hurry to judge another harshly. What are your thoughts? What still makes you angry?  How do you manage things that anger you? If you had to pick 1 or 2 to share what would they be? Do share! Thank you. 🙂

Positive Motivation Tip: When channeled with the best intention to improve ourselves, anger can be a productive tool; manage your anger!

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Photo of  Anger Symbol, Awareness/Consciousness, Awareness color contrast, and Wooden Fence via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

23 Comments leave one →
  1. 24/05/2011 1:02 am

    Hello all!
    If you were trying to leave a comment, you may do so now… Oddly, my comments button was unchecked by an angry spirit… not me. LOL! 🙂

  2. 24/05/2011 6:07 am

    The bit about the woman with the scowl hit home to me – my grandmother told me the same thing, using her face as an example. So now, when I feel myself scowling I force myself to smile, lift my eyes, relax my muscles. The funny thing is, just the physical act of doing that often makes me feel happier, too. I’ve read that fence story before too – it is very powerful.

  3. 24/05/2011 7:18 am

    If we harbor anger towards another person and make no attempt to resolve it, it carries with a permanent weight within our soul. It’s always best to let go of our anger and not let it become a permanent fixture within our heart. Being a divorced woman, and I definetly know the meaning of anger; I learned to let it go. He managed to make my first years miserable, I decided the last years were going to be mine. To live in a happier world and be the most I could be, enjoying life and the world around me.

  4. 24/05/2011 4:53 am

    Interesting post.
    I am so angry right now it is all consuming and I want to kill someone – namely the medical staff who looked after our daughter for their gross negligence. Their actions could have killed our daughter and her new born baby. In fact she is back to the hospital today…

    As a mother you feel protective towards your offspring even when they ahve flown the nest. I don’t know how I can manage this anger only perhaps to buy a book of lottery tickets and win the Eruo lottery so I can sue the the hospital.

    I have a saying “don’t get mean get even”
    As for everyday anger that is different. I am normally a happy person because being angry with the world can be destructive.

    • 24/05/2011 5:37 am

      I’m sorry to read that she is back in the hospital. I remember that she had some delivery difficulties but thought it was resolved… Oh boy, how could they have been so ignorant; so so sad. Sending your daughter healing light and love… Hang in there PIP… My heart goes out to all of you. E

    • 24/05/2011 8:35 am

      I understand how you feel Pip.

      I have spent a lot of the last 13 months angry. My psychologist said in my siutation that anger served a purpose, for it actually kept my going. Without my anger I may have not kept fighting.

      • 24/05/2011 5:41 pm

        You have a good point, having anger sometimes gives us the boost of energy we need to surge forward. But, I don’t like anger, and I will take lots of something that irritates me, before letting my anger surface. I have found letting it go is the best policy.

    • 24/05/2011 10:22 am

      I just visited your blog and read your post about your horrible ordeal. You my dear, have every right to be angry and every right to sue. That seems like an open and shut case of medical malpractice. Good luck to you and your little one!

    • 24/05/2011 5:44 pm

      Sorry to hear about the medical mishap, I pray for your daughter’s speedy recovery and that all goes well. Carelessness is a tragedy, especially in the medical field.

  5. 24/05/2011 8:41 am

    I think this is the crux of it: “Anger is a powerful emotion that can be used in both destructive and constructive ways.”

    Take Pip’s situation, where her daughter and grand-daughter could have died due to medical error. Her anger and her daughter’s anger may ensure, ultimately, that the doctor is never in a position to repeat such a disaster.
    I agree totally that anger needs to managed and to be channelled when appropriate, left behind when it is really doing us (the angry one) more harm that good.
    Anger is indeed a strange thing, for it can cause so much harm, to ourselves and others, yet it can also be the driving force to bring much needed change.
    Like fire, anger needs to be handled with care.

  6. 24/05/2011 9:48 am

    This subject has been on my mind a lot lately. I wrote a guest post about it that will be out soon. My father-in-law is carrying around anger from 85 years ago. It is truly sad to see. No matter how I try I can’t make him understand the gift of forgiveness is for the person forgiving. I’ve given up.

    Thanks for the post!

  7. 24/05/2011 9:53 am

    I think that angry is instinct of human. At the same time human requires discipline for living in a group.

  8. 24/05/2011 7:19 am

    thank you, Eliz, you inspired me to post with a positive story …

  9. 24/05/2011 10:24 am

    Anger can be justified at times. But too often, it’s not. Have you noticed that the opposite of anger–laughter–makes you feel the opposite as well—like a huge release of stress. We all need to laugh more.

  10. 24/05/2011 12:04 pm

    Very thought provoking article, and comments

  11. 24/05/2011 12:27 pm

    On top of being a great writer you must be a mind reader…needed to read this one today…You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. But it won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound will still be there.

    Thank you!

  12. richard permalink
    24/05/2011 4:24 pm

    pls pass the “let go of anger vibe ” around the immediate vicinity as well as globally.. we all need it!

  13. Bree permalink
    24/05/2011 4:31 pm

    Anger is so exhausting and debilitating and yet some have used it to bring change to our world.
    I agree that our intention must be purposeful for it to be productive.
    It is a shame that there is so much anger, greed and hatred in our world; there is great need for global healing.
    Awareness is so important as some people like to project their stuff on others.
    Great topic to start the week.

  14. 24/05/2011 4:52 pm

    I have far more laugh lines than frown lines.

    I view anger as a signal that I must be mindful of something that has annoyed me. In that mindful state, I can:

    (1) Observe my anger and do nothing but allow it to dissipate.
    (2) I can share my anger with others in a constructive way.
    (3) I can share my anger with others in a destructive way.

    I get angry at self-serving politicians (like Marco Rubio) and at people who abuse animals, children, the elderly, or anyone else who cannot “fight back” on their own behalf.

    I get annoyed (to a much lesser extent) when people whine about the same thing over and over (trying to make it my problem) instead of doing something to change the situation themself.

    Wonderful post, E!

  15. 24/05/2011 9:35 pm

    i think the person you saw on the subway was my sister who is always mad about something. i wish i could wipe those negative thoughts from her mind, but i would need her cooperation. could anyone really be comfortable with themselves by being always angry?

  16. 26/05/2011 9:52 am

    It’s interesting and enlightening to read that when we feel anger, we cease striving for the truth. This is so true in my experience. Usually, when I succumb to anger, I no longer care about facts. I just want to win. And that’s not healthy. I don’t want to be angry, even when I have reason to be. Anger muddles the brain.


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