Many years ago I met a lady whose husband had cheated on her and run off with another woman. It’s a very sad story. It must have been a very difficult time for her as she came to terms with what happened and the pain must have been awful. I empathized. We all did. We offered her a shoulder and empathy at every opportunity. She was a friend and we didn’t like to see her suffering.
The saddest part to this story though is that 15 years after what happened she is still as angry and bitter as if it happened yesterday. She has let it destroy her entire nature and world view. She has even started hating ALL men and labeling them as potential cheaters. It’s heartbreaking to see. It’s hard to be around.
In my time I have seen many different life events happen and seen the human reactions to these events, there really is many ways that people can react to changes and events that it is almost impossible to predict what may happen and to whom.
The world doesn’t stop testing us in so many ways and the range of human emotions is limitless and, sometimes, mysterious.
The only one real constant in life is change.
So why am I not angry?
Truth is I was. I was angry and hurt and terrified. Sometimes all three at once.
But I quickly realized that my anger was not helping me during my most painful moments and taking out my anger on those who were trying to help me, and that I needed and loved, was self defeating and unproductive. And then I realized that all the anger in the world was not going to improve my predicament one little bit. I remembered the angry lady who is hard to be around.
I started metering out how much energy I would use being angry or sad or frustrated. I started alloting time limits on how long I would let myself wallow or vent. I would remind myself to be very clear about what I was actually feeling ie I am in pain and it is causing me to be snappy. Therefore I need to explain to people that my pain levels are not allowing me to be as relaxed or happy as I would like to be… Etc. I have taught myself to be very clear and honest about what is going n in the emotional arena so I don’t confuse myself or others.
Once I started doing this I realized I was not as angry as I thought I was. I would like to point out here that I don’t consider myself Buddha like or as great as enlightened as Ghandi was, I am simply saying that when I was completely honest with how I was feeling, I was rarely angry but far more disappointed, scared and hurting.
Today I use these feelings to help me reach out and connect with others. To help me understand and empathize with what they may be feeling.
I keep remembering all the unhappy, bitter and angry people that I have met and reliving how their story unfolded and how it changed them into people that struggle under the weight of their anger and their life focus and I have decided, yes decided, that I don’t want my story to go that way.
Being angry is a normal reaction and part of the grieving process. Staying angry is a sign that something is wrong with your coping techniques and a psychological warning sign.
The other reasons I am not angry is that I spend as much time as I can doing things I love and being around people I love. For me, love is a much stronger emotion than anger.