Having had to deal with anger management issues in the past, I should be an expert in the many paths to inner peace by now. I’ve read up on the helpful tips offered on the internet, but I suppose for anything to be effective, one ought to have a personal connection with whatever we’re up to.
I came up with this only last night, as I was thinking of the many times I had hurled harmful words that hurt my loved ones. Anger is quick to rise within me, and I’ve been trying for some eight years now to tame it.
How do we start?
Imagine a mirror.
It is clean, with no trace of smudges or cracks. You”re standing before it, basking in the glory of the perfect being that you are. You are reflected to you in all your beauty, and you’re smiling. You’re happy.
That is how you begin the day.
The fresh feeling at the start of a day is dear to me, but seldom do I preserve it as the day progresses. I find myself infuriated, exasperated and desperate. As a result, I might snap at people around me. I can’t always blame other people or situations for infuriating me, because in the end, it’s me who allowed myself to be infuriated.
How do I stop that?
By keeping a tab on the times I let anger get the better of me.
Dietitians prescribe food diaries to keep a tab on the amount of calories you ingest. Writing down a to-do list and ticking off the things you’ve done is often embraced as a method to better organization.
Why not do the same with an emotion you’d like to control?
I always keep a small pocket book with me, so I’ll be putting marks whenever I feel I’ve overstepped my anger threshold. At the end of the day, I’ll know how many times I’ve allowed myself to fly off the handle.
But to put a few marks and look at them at the end of the day is not the only thing we’re going to do.
Every time you put a mark, imagine a smudge on the mirror.
If you’ve really hurt someone, imagine a crack. The crack is on the mirror, which is not a part of you. But nevertheless, it has affected the way it reflects your image.
Decisions taken out of a moment of anger can act to quickly sour the most beautiful relationships. The person you hurt may not be important to you in your present circumstances, but we’re all connected at a much deeper level than we can fathom. And if the person is important to you, it’s not just him/ her that’s hurt – your relationship is affected as well.
Anger also affects our ability to take rational decisions, clouding our perceptions and creating unfair judgments. The smudges and cracks on the mirror represent them.
At the end of the day, you have your mirror clean, or filled with marks, or just a little bit smudgy.
But never, ever, ever, be disappointed in yourself.
Because you get a new mirror every day.
Whatever you did the previous day or hour or minute or moment, should not be allowed to torture you.
Because every mirror is a new day, and it is precious. A gift that has been granted to you, a new chance, a sign that the universe believes in you.
So at the end of the day, if you happen to see many marks upon your mirror, place it to your side and say, I’ll be learning from you, and I’m already a better person because of that. If you have a largely clean mirror, do pat yourself on the back, because you’ve done a wonderful job!
The journey of anger management is still an on-going one, but I know that once I’m at the end of it, I’ll be looking back at the path I’ve traveled and reminiscing on the wonderful memories it gave me.
What about you?