Angry customers, angry clients, angry drivers, angry family, angry friends, angry strangers. We all know or have been the angry person in our life. This season has my mind turning gears on some interesting topics right now, and to be upfront, I was angry today.
I’ve been angry at myself more often than I would probably like to admit. Angry about my posture not being perfect at any given moment, angry about making a terrible comment when it wasn’t really terrible — I’m an expert at self judgement since I’ve been self studying for decades. Mike Neilio, JD for judgement.
“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” – Siddhārtha Gautama
It can become a prison of our own thoughts, if we let it
It can become a fortress of our own design, if we let it
It can become a life not lived, if we let it
How do we not let it keep us in that mindset? How do we shift from negative to positive? Big ups to Biggie Smalls for that reference. An awareness is helpful. Pausing for presence is helpful. Learning to recognize the space between incoming stimulus (other things and people) and our reaction, or eventually action, towards any given stimulus.
It’s like, today, when the telemarketer called my cell phone, even though I’m on the do not call list. I was sensing my frustration when I picked up and heard that automated voice say, “Press one to hear about how to save money on blah blah.” I pressed one in hopes of speaking to a human to ensure they’re aware I’m on this “no marketing” list. Because, I’m so important and ready – I prepared a response and was quick to deliver it succinctly and directly – then it all went south when she asked a question that was irrelevant in my mind because the only stimulus I wanted to hear was that, “Yes, we’ll make sure your number is removed.” I wasn’t necessarily a raging idiot. I think I appeared calm on her end, probably. However, I absolutely stirred up some levels of cortisol that I could feel needed to be excreted from my system an hour later.
It’s this part of the anger that punishes us. The chemical reaction inside of us. Even if we do not let it spew out on the other person verbally, it wreaks havoc on our mind and body. It can take us from a healthy person, into the hospital or even worse if we let it go on for weeks, months, years. That cartoon ice princess had it right… let it go.
Well, we win some, we lose some.
I’m so much better at not being angry at myself when traveling. Maybe because telemarketers can’t reach me? Maybe it’s because I’m so much more in the present moment. When I’m going with the flow from this place to that what cares do I have about an unknown entity or someone that’s being paid, or not, great wages in far away lands to affect my inner life? It shouldn’t. Or should it?
Maybe this is why meditation is a practice. Yoga is a practice. Even doctors, practice.
All we can do is keep showing up. Keep trying. Keep practicing. Do better to be better next time.
Shout out to Susan for being an amazing editor and helper of words.