It doesn’t take much to annoy us – it could be a scathing comment masked in jest, or a seemingly harmless observation with sinister intention. Whichever it is, it doesn’t matter. What does matter however is our reaction. If you learn to act, and not re-act, then you’ve touched upon something truly special. But the tragedy is that most of us only end up reacting, never acting. Why do we blame another person for saying something to us, and give our power away? The person shot something from his mouth, and nonchalantly walked away, leaving us to endlessly ponder over the comment. Yet, why must we ponder? Why can’t we discard the comment with the similar level of insensitivity with which it was delivered? The answer is simple, really – it’s the ego. Our ego often prevents us from seeing us for who we really are, and also, from seeing others for who they really are. Mastery of emotions can never be achieved without the mastery of the ego. I’m still endeavouring to do so, and I do believe that I’ve made considerable progress. And you will too, if you gently assimilate new concepts. I emphasize gently since nothing is ever achieved by force. Nothing worthwhile, anyway. And as you apply these ideas to your daily life, and find yourself struggling, don’t sweat. And most importantly, don’t berate yourself, for you are a wonderfully perfect creation of God. Here’s a little personal insight into our most common emotion.
Work through your anger, it’s not really so hard to do so. The next time you find yourself getting angry at something or someone, just immediately change your thought process. Think of something calming, think of the lovely things about yourself, of how many things you’re grateful for. This will be a little tough in the beginning, for the mind is inherently rebellious. It will try and force you out of such thinking and compel you to act on your anger, but just like any other machine, the mind can and does respond to training. Train your mind. Train it to think different thoughts, positive thoughts, fulfilling thoughts, grateful thoughts, anything but angry thoughts. Anger is like a virus, destroying everything that comes into its path. Don’t contain anger, for that is harmful too. Rather, work on releasing that anger. When someone does something to anger you, instantly turn your attention to your breath. Focus on breathing in, and breathing out, counting till 10. And then starting over. You will soon feel your anger subsiding, and gradually, vanishing. That’s not the only technique though. If you can’t change your thought process at the moment, or focus on your breath, just keep the anger inside, but don’t react. When you get home, find a pillow, and punch it vigorously. Keep punching it, till you feel that pent-up aggression being released. And when it’s all done, when the pillow has exploded and the feathers are strewn all over the room, calmly sit down and ask yourself ‘why did I react like that?’, ‘What’s the problem in the pattern of my consciousness that is causing such reactions?’ And then, I suggest something drastic. Forgive the person. Forgive him/her, even if it wasn’t your fault. Forgive the person for you know that you’re beyond trivial things. Forgive the person for you understand what the other person doesn’t. Forgive the person for there’s divinity within you. And most importantly, forgive the person for there’s divinity in them. When we understand that supreme divinity flows through everyone, how can we not be more forgiving? Every spiritual book, whether it’s ‘A course in miracles,’ or ‘Conversations with God’, or ‘You can heal your life’ talks about the single most act that defines your life – forgiveness. And it doesn’t cost you money or time. Yet it’s priceless, and timeless. Simply think of the person whom you want to forgive, and say aloud or mentally, ‘I forgive you for not being what I want you to be. I forgive you and set you free.’ The best part? This affirmation actually sets us free!
I’ve struggled with irritability (which is really just a manifestation of anger) before I began my inward journey. If I didn’t have things my way, it would upset me. If someone had things their way, and if I didn’t like that way, it would upset me. It would take awful little to annoy me, and when I look back, it was such a waste of mental energy. But I don’t regret it, any of it. For certain incidents in your life happen for a reason, and sometimes it is those apparently regretful incidents that shape your life. So never regret anything. Bless your past, see it for what it was, and move on. And don’t struggle with this new thought pattern. Your new thinking process will seamlessly bind into your consciousness. For life is meant to be easy, so stop believing otherwise.