It seems that the general theme of life is about how to let go of anger or just on letting go in general. With letting go, comes a whole plethora of other opportunities that come as a by-product, like being compassionate toward one another, accepting yourself and others, no longer giving into human suffering to name a few. Here are a few of the things I want to touch on in this article because it’s important for me to share with you. I don’t want to suffer just as much as I don’t want you to suffer. You and I share a close bond together that you may not realize (yet) but if you are reading this, then we are connected.
- Why letting go cannot be controlled. (And why)
- How letting go of anger is actually the path of unconditional love.
- Holding on is like drinking poison.
- Meditation on how to let go of anger
Why letting go cannot be controlled (And why)
when the subject falls on letting go and how to better do it. It’s easy to try and get into your noggin that I just need to actively do it. But saying and acting are two different things. One brings more tension into our lives typically where as the other has a much more calming affect. (look back into your experience on which one feels better)
I’ll help you out though, when we try and will things, it often leads to MORE tension/stress/suffering because thoughts of controlling an outcome come into play. We want our ideas to be a certain way or are expecting a specific outcome and those outcomes may never come. But if we are mindful enough to see that an action hurt us, and accept that fact that they did and cannot change it. We then can go through the process of dealing with it, the person, or the situation in a more healthy way.
Just by seeing and accepting life the way it is, and not expecting something out of it, begins to loosen your bonds with anger, jealousy, envy, etc. All of which I think you would agree with me, doesn’t particularly feel good. I don’t believe in the two extremes or that someone should always be happy over sad, sometimes both are necessary and happen. There cannot be one without the other as long as our perspectives still fall on a dualistic nature.
How letting go of anger is actually the path of unconditional love
I say this because letting go in general is one of those things that, the more it’s practiced the more other things start to re-orchestrate inside. Awesome by-products of this are compassion, acceptance, love, and equanimity. Because when letting go happens you are finally accepting that your idea of something is not necessary for it to be beautiful (or to move on from something).
In fact it should eventually become a moment to moment process, in which you can let go of your ideas of everything (even your own expectations of you) and just let things play out as they always have. Now I’m NOT saying to no longer have discernment, as that would be silly or foolish. If anything this should allow you to be more clear sighted on what the answer to a problem is. Not being restricted by your ideas you have that mental space that is no longer clogged by “what-ifs” or “he/she should have’s”.
Dropping our ideas turns into seeing the actual mountain instead of looking at the painting of that mountain and wishing it were real. Set the painting down and see the REAL beauty is has to show you!
Hold on is like drinking poison
There was a real wise
ass (man, ahem), that had a pretty good saying,
Holding on to anger is like drinking poison expecting the other person to die. -Buddha
And this is true! When we hold on to anger, it’s because we felt that we’ve been wronged so much that we somehow believe that by holding onto it, that it will magically make the other person hurt. But do you see how absurd this is to think about? You hold on to the hurt, and it hurts you, and it hurts you, and it hurts you every time you bring it back up.
How do you expect to release yourself from suffering if you are clinging to this thing that no longer actually has power over you. It happened, accept that it’s happened, and then start the practice of letting it go by seeing what you can do about making yourself happy again. It does not benefit you to hold on to something in hopes that one day things will change. They won’t! It has already happened.
You are doing a dis-service to yourself for doing so.
You may have not liked that outcome of something happening to you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get past it. IT just means you have an obstacle in the way that is going to make you stronger by respecting yourself enough to pick yourself back up instead of holding yourself back.
Our main obstacle as human beings is having ideas of people that we want to hold on to (some of these may be first impressions). These things are good to have however, when we assume those things will ALWAYS be true about this person is when we run into trouble. We are always changing, just talking with different types of personalities changes us, molds us, transforms us. So to think that our stagnant idea of our friends, family, or co-workers are always going to stay the same now seems silly doesn’t it?
Always be open to the possibility that, that person before you, is a new person. Definitely has more things to teach you, and will always be a mystery no matter what idea you have of them.
You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger. -Buddha
Meditation on how to let go of anger
Today I’m not going to give a zazen (sitting) meditation. This is one you can take to the streets! So what we are doing here is when we felt we have been wronged. This is how we end up working it out.
- Slow down your breathing. (and breath from your belly if you can)
- Be aware of the tensions in your body this situation has caused.
- Now we search for OUR idea of what we were expecting. (finding the root of why we feel hurt)
- Try our best to accept that things didn’t work out the way WE wanted them to.
- Accept the way we feel about the situation.
- Either drop the idea of that person or circumstance or remove yourself from the situation.
- Respond in a way that will take suffering away from you AND the other person or situation.
Now I know this is a general outline of what can be done and that method is sometimes hard to follow because of the energy that anger gives off. But just being mindful of our responses or reactions over time will give us more of a gap. And the gap allows us to have better responses next time something happens. It takes a little discipline but what would you rather have, a cure for your disease or an asprin to mask the pain for a for hours?