Another re-post. . .
In the new year, I would like to see people have more peace in their hearts and not be eaten up by negetive emotions. For instance, anger, in any form, not talking righteous indignation here so move past that thought, is destructive. Anger between two men have started wars. Anger between family members over who gets moms dishes after she died, has kept families apart for generations. Anger between a husband and wife has wrecked the lives of their children. Anger, it is said, is our real enemy. Last March I wrote on anger and would like to re-post what I said then.
March 15, 2007
There is something about the combination of fog and soft music that sets the stage for me to do some deep thinking. Fog alone seems to make some folks feel pretty pensive and it has that effect on me too, but add some soft music and I am off to thinking some serious stuff.Not long ago I saw on someone's blog that they were praying that God would bless them so their enemies would see that and see how favored they are or something. I suppose to prove some point to the enemy. Of course for something like that you would have to use an Old testament verse since in the new testament, with the teachings of Christ you would be more likely to consider you have no enemies or at least to pray they become blessed more than you are. As "luck" would have it, their claim to being blessed was sorta hit with a glitch and they became ill. It became a joke among many. The "Pride cometh before a fall" sort of thing. So much for looking blessed more than others. This sort of claim often backfires. So often this sort of behavior is rewarded in this manner simply because our hearts may not be filled with that love that should be part of our lives. "Ha ha look at me", is a saying that rarely works out well. I am always taken back a bit by the differences in the two covenants. In one, its something to brag about overthrowing your enemies and in the second, you embrace your enemy. The reason I am mentioning this is that this mentality is not rare and its destructive not to the "intendee" ( most often they haven't a clue) but to the one harboring it and feeling it. It steals their joy, the joy from the ones they love and live with.Harboring discord, a grudge, anger etc can take control of us and leave us acting like people we would never want to know. So often our anger takes on a life of its own and you loose track of what was the starting point of it all. Your imagination creates something far more powerful than the reality of it.One affirmative thought is hundreds of times more powerful than one negative thought, that has been proved scientifically. The real strength comes in remaining true to what you know is the better road to take. Personally, I can attest to the truth of that fact regarding the power of an affirmative thought. Being positive lets you maintain control over your own joy and takes others out of the command seat. And we all know that allowing things others have said and done, rule our thoughts and actions, leaves us with more negativity. It's always shocking to me when someone is still holding on to something that took place years ago or even months ago. They are missing out on seeing clearly the joy that stood before them, it is shrouded by the fog of anger.Not long ago I received an email from someone asking about holding on to anger and wanted to know how to move past that. I have been thinking about this and wondering just what to say.I was very angry for a couple years about the way my husbands family acted regarding our adopting our two nephews. There was no truth in what they thought were the facts, but they still made life difficult based on their conjured up ideas. The injustice of what they said made me angry.The only help I found, the only real nitty gritty wisdom on the subject of anger, came from the Dalai Lama's book, "Healing Anger." The wisdom, the solutions, the actions, the rope of hope tossed to me by the words in this book, changed my life 100%. Sometimes you just have to walk away from people who make you angry but walk away from being angry at them too. That is the difficult part. Sometimes you just have to put yourself in their situation, imagine you being raised just like they were, living their life and seeing your would probably not act any different. You have to learn to not react to what they say. See it as words only. Not give the words any power over us.
"The destructive effects of hatred are very visible, very obvious and immediate. For example, when a strong or forceful thought of hatred arises, at that very instant it overwhelms one totally and destroys one's peace and presence of mind. When that hateful thought is harboured inside, it makes one feel tense and uptight, and can cause loss of appetite, leading to loss of sleep, and so forth.If we examine how anger or hateful thoughts arise in us, we will find that, generally speaking, they arise when we feel hurt, when we feel that we have been unfairly treated by someone against our expectations. If in that instant we examine carefully the way anger arises, there is a sense that it comes as a protector, comes as a friend that would help our battle or in taking revenge against the person who has inflicted harm on us. So the anger or hateful thought that arises appears to come as a shield or a protector. But in reality that is an illusion. It is a very delusionary state of mind..... if one reacts to a situation in a negative way instead of in a tolerant way, not only is there no immediate benefit, but also a negative attitude and feeling is created which is the seed of one's future downfall. From the Buddhist point of view, the consequence of taking revenge has to be faced by the individual alone in his or he future life. So not only is there no immediate benefit, it is harmful in the long run for the individual..... at the moment that strong feelings of anger arise, no matter how hard one tries to adopt a dignified pose, one's face looks rather ugly. There is an unpleasant expression, and the vibration that the person sends is very hostile. People can sense it, and it is almost as if one can feel steam coming out of that person's body. Indeed not only are human beings capable of sensing it, but pets and other animals also try to avoid that person at that instant.These are the immediate consequences of hatred. It brings about a very ugly, unpleasant physical transformation of the individual. In addition, when such intense anger and hatred arise, it makes the best part of our brain, which is the ability to judge between right and wrong and assess long-term and short-term consequences, become totally inoperable. It can no longer function. It is almost as if the person had become crazy. These are the negative effects of generating anger and hatred. When we think about these negative and destructive effects of anger and hatred, we realize that it is necessary to distance ourselves from such emotional explosions. Insofar as the destructive effects of anger and hateful thoughts are concerned, one cannot get protection from wealth; even if one is a millionaire, one is subject to these destructive effects of anger and hatred. Nor can education guarantee that one will be protected from these effects. Similarly, the law cannot guarantee protection. Even nuclear weapons, no matter how sophisticated the defense system may be, cannot give one protection or defend one from these effects. The only factor that can give refuge or protection from the destructive effects of anger and hatred is the practice of tolerance and patience. "This teaching is an excerpt from "Healing Anger", a teaching by The Dalai Lama