Like most of you, I feel incredibly upset. I am disturbed by the horrific violence playing out in my home country (USA) and around the world. I am distraught by the political energies exacerbating our collective strife, rather than the use of politics to build bridges, heal our conflicts, and help people rise to new levels of consciousness and resourcefulness. I can viscerally touch within me a deep-seated anger for everyone who has ever been wronged, including myself. I feel heartbreak.
Yet I also believe in the penetrating truth espoused by faiths and cultures for thousands of years: fighting anger with anger only breeds more anger.
- “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.” – Buddha
- “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” – Baptist Beacon
- “Anger is one letter short of danger.”– Eleanor Roosevelt
- “Anger cannot be overcome by anger. If a person shows anger to you, and you show anger in return, the result is a disaster.” – Dalai Lama
- “You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.” – Indira Gandhi
- “Anger begets more anger, and forgiveness and love lead to more forgiveness and love.” – Mahavira
- “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.” – Chinese proverb
So how do we become patient in our moments of anger? How do we channel our anger in ways that connect rather than divide and build rather than destroy?
I don’t pretend to know all the answers, but I do know it starts with mindfully connecting with ourselves so that we are better able to connect constructively with each other. This week’s edition of @MindfulOnline offers three steps that I find invaluable for transforming the poison of anger into positive connection:
- First, acknowledge feelings of anger. Take 3 minutes and try this mindfulness practice for dealing with one of our strongest emotions.
- Then, practice loving-kindness. Explore this 20-minute loving-kindness practice to extend compassion to yourself, those around us, and the larger world.
- Finally, articulate your thoughts, values, and explore conversations with those around you. Here are 9 guideposts for keeping it real while engaging in meaningful communication.
Interesting in learning more? Check out our programs for wellbeing, leadership, and culture transformation at bewellleadwell.com and wisdom-works.com. Or, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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