Whenever you’re in doubt about any action, ask yourself: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? You can also ask, What would love do now?—Harold Klemp The Language of Soul
This can also be said about the words we speak and the thoughts we have. Anger, jealousy, and frustration can all lead us to say things about others that we really don’t mean, but lose our ability to control in the present moment when the emotion of anger sticks its ugly head up. Why does this happen?
When the emotions kick in, particularly if they are strong enough, they literally block any mental processing. Have you ever heard the statement: “He was so mad, he couldn’t think.” This is the condition I am talking about.
It is hard to pull ourselves out of an emotional frenzy or firestorm when we are under their control. The best thing you can do if you recognize you are in this state is literally separate yourself from others until you’ve cooled down. It is also necessary to be aware enough to begin capturing the telling signs that your emotions are about to take over.
Initially, this is hard, but with practice, you will begin seeing the triggers that set you off. When you see them, you can begin working on de-escalation strategies so that they do not get the best of you. This is really important because there are some things your emotions will cause you to say that you can’t take back. The damage to another person can be irreparable.
Emotions are like a wave. They rise and they fall during an “episode”. They always have something that initiates them, they have a peak of expression, and then they subside. The human body can only sustain so much stress before the emotions will literally rip it apart. Anger and its cousin fear are the worst. Jealousy is definitely up there in the rankings.
How do we combat these nasty emotions? Learn what triggers them. If you understand the triggers you can avoid the rollercoaster before you hit the summit. The key is to recognize these emotions when they come, then let them go. This is not easy. It takes practice. One of the ways to learn how to do this is to simply try to engage the emotions at will just to get used to these feelings when they arise. You can do this during your meditation practice by imagining things that make you angry or jealous and mocking up scenes in your mind that spark these emotions. Once you achieve jealousy or anger, engage with it to really understand it. You’ll find that once you get inside these emotions there is nothing there. We learn that we created these out of thin air and we can make them go away the same way.
You can imagine anger or jealousy as a piece of paper. You crumple it up and throw it away in an imaginary trashcan. You could imagine your anger or jealousy to be a pile of dust on the floor and brushing it away with a broom. You could also imagine anger or jealousy to be a balloon. Popping it causes the jealousy or anger to dissipate.
The key to all of these exercises is to get yourself to slow down the escalation of these emotions so you can think. Thinking will allow you to really understand whether what you are going to say or do is necessary, kind, and truthful.
Enjoy your Saturday!!
Until next time…