During a chat with a client, an aspect that came up was that the client felt anger, and reacted to that anger regularly. And that the anger was leading to a situation that did not foster peace, harmony and happiness in the relationships that mattered. And to name a few that might resonate with some of you, it could be as simple as the footwear being in disarray at home, or someone misplacing something extremely valuable!
After having been an “angry person” for most of my life (Some think I still am!!), I thought that I might actually have some more experience in this subject than most others! I’ve been able to reasonably be calm and at peace most times, with some of the techniques that I have used until now. I am nowhere near being a “Shantha Swaroopi” (Sanskrit for “Epitome of peace”) and have made significant progress!
And so, it led me to understand for myself, what caused the anger. And as always, it is quite simple.
Anger is ONLY about the past, and always caused by disappointment!
Understanding what I want, that I am not getting, might be helpful in communicating what I really want, in a healthy manner!
So, if disappointment is the root cause, then I am the root cause or my own anger. I want something and I am not getting it. And when I do not get what I want, I become angry. And then express my displeasure at others, with my words and actions. And many a time, I carry anger with me, on perceived slights and such for an extended period of time. The fact is that I am the cause of my anger, and ONLY I am affected most by it. Others who feel fear, anger, sadness, are collateral damage. And the ones who are affected are mostly those who are close to me, and sadly enough, care about me!
As my dear friend Kichu said to me (the first time when I told him I was almost always angry about many things,) “Find out what you want that you are not getting. That will help you express your anger in a healthy manner.”
And always, as Viktor Frankl says,
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
I simply started being aware of my anger, and slowly, over a period of time, I was able to increase the time between the stimulus, and my response. In fact, I actually started responding, rather than reacting. And therein lay the open secret to my being calmer, at peace, and happy with myself and my life!
Whenever there is anger, it might be worthwhile to simply slow down, think, and then respond! Maybe that could lead to greater happiness for self, and definitely for those around, be it at home, at work, or anywhere else!