Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Lots of Red, everywhere. I guess we will be seeing red.
But seeing red can be a bad thing. Typically, it means that we are feeling angry.
We have all been angry. At some point in our lives. It is a natural human emotion, like love, fear, joy, and on. Some of us are angrier than others though. Trust me on this one. Yet. It seems to me that there more we find that beautiful place of “the even keel,” the less we travel to those angry places.
The thing about anger, though, of all the emotions, is that you will probably “put someone off” while in the midst of an angry spell.
There is a great quote by Lawrence J. Peter. It goes, “Speak when you’re angry and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.” Oh, isn’t that the truth?
But why, oh why, does it happen?
Well, I guess we get angry because we are coerced. In our minds. We have a tendency to interpret and react to certain situations, and that interpretation can take us for a spin. One way or the other.
We might feel threatened or attacked. Frustrated. Powerless. Or it could be that someone is challenging our thoughts, our beliefs, our principles.
Yes. All of the above.
Most of the time, anger doesn’t help a situation. So, how do we get past?
Slowing down has helped me. Trying not to react in the moment. And, instead of reacting, taking the time to consider there might be other possibilities, other ways of thinking, other ideas, which might be better than my own.
There is a really good story that originated in India. It points out to what happens when our hearts become angry. When we become angry.
“A Hindu saint who was visiting river Ganges to take a bath found a group of family members on the banks, shouting in anger at each other.
He turned to his disciples, smiled and asked.
“Why do people shout in anger shout at each other?”
The disciples thought for a while, and one of them said, “Because we lose our calm, we shout.”
“But, why should you shout when the other person is just next to you? You can as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner,” asked the saint.
The disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the other disciples.
Finally the saint explained,
“When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other to cover that great distance.
What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is either nonexistent or very small…”
The saint continued,
“When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.”
So. I guess when we find that place, of utter exasperation and explosion, perhaps we can see a better person in ourselves. Maybe we can find, deep within us, that space of principles, where there is calm and control. Perhaps we can travel a road of peace.
“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein
“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The best way out is always through.” Robert Frost