Monday, November 22, 2010

Zen ~ Anger

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."      Buddha

Ah, anger. It can bubble up and break through at unexpected times and in unexpected places. We can blame God. We can blame ourselves. We can blame others. We can blame the nature of the universe.

But it isn't worth it.

My first experience of true seething anger occurred during my divorce. I was angry at my ex for being an idiot, at myself for my naivety and marrying him in the first place, at the very idea that I failed at something so important. I had to learn the hard way that prolonged anger is destructive and toxic, and ultimately letting it go would save my life. Indeed, my peace and joy has been my ultimate revenge. Mwaa haa haa!! (just kidding about that evil laughter part).

So now I am struggling with anger again. Anger at God. Anger at me. Anger at the craziness of the universe. Yet I need only look around me at the people who suffer losses and tragedies beyond belief, and then I realize what a brat I am. Why shouldn't shit happen to me? Who do I think I am that would make me somehow immune to sadness, death and loss? Ugliness is as much a part of our existence here on earth as is beauty, and I have come to the conclusion the without the contrast of the two then life would not be as colorful, as fabulous, as sublime.

Slowly anger diminishes to understanding - if we allow it to. It does take a conscious effort and it isn't always easy. We try to make sense of things but often we have to simply accept the fact that this ride comes with ups and downs. If we allow anger to be in control then it is we who are losing out.

Life is (imperfect but) beautiful.

fall hydrangea

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