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Earlier this evening, I stumbled across something that irritated me in a big way. Without going into detail, I can tell you that I was wishing, even while I was experiencing the emotions and venting to a few people, that it didn’t affect me like it did. And I kept going for that and going for that, trying to flush the feelings out.

You see, I don’t like to stay with certain feelings. Feelings like depression? I can get with. I’m comfortable there. But anger? Nope! I’m not comfortable with anger and I always feel guilty when I experience it. Anger is violent and out of anger arises the desire to harm. Harming isn’t necessarily physical. It can be in mind and speech and well, and let me tell you, it definitely was there in my mind and speech. I didn’t like it so I worked to get rid of it. But then I realized that I needed to experience the anger before I could let it go.

I dug through some of my notes from teacher training (because this was echoing in me, like deja vu) and sure enough, one of the Sutras is Ahimsa: Non-Violence. I am trying to practice non-violence in my life. The way I acted, although I didn’t go out and beat the crap out of someone, was violent regardless. I gave into the anger and let it drive me to say and think harmful things. And those thoughts echoed in me, making me feel uncomfortable and icky. And yet, I know that if I’d have tried to tamp it down, it would have popped up another way, another day.

So where do I find that balance?

I have to practice compassion and love for myself. I can’t do anything about the thing that annoyed me this evening. The situation is out of my control and frankly, not worth my time. But I can learn from the way I reacted to it, and also NOT punish myself for reacting as I did. But going forward, I know better. I need to learn how to experience emotions like anger without letting them drive me to act in ways that are hurtful. It’s not the emotions themselves that are bad. But giving in to the desire to hurt as much as I feel that I’ve been hurt? Nothing good ever comes from that.

‘Til next time.

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