Stupidly, I’d let my meditation practice slide and I hadn’t done it for weeks, perhaps months.
In fact, I got really angry.
Although, whilst angry, I felt I was in the right the next day I felt sick to my stomach.
My head hurt – I felt terrible.
And my uncontrolled anger affected me for weeks afterward.
If I’d been meditating regularly I wouldn’t have reacted so badly.
Yes, anger is a poison
And it will damage your mind and body and destroy your relationships if you don’t discover how to deal with it.
In fact, studies have shown that high levels of anger can increase your risk of coronary artery disease and heart attack, lead to hardened arteries, cause liver and kidney damage and cause anxiety and depression.
But, you may be thinking, “I know someone who is angry all the time and it doesn’t seem to affect them badly.”
And that’s because they’ve become accustomed to using anger. And they’ve built-up a tolerance to it.
For example, a drug addict can build up a tolerance to heroin over months and years.
But if a non-addict took the same dose, the shock to their system would be so great that it could kill them.
Although the drugs are still damaging the addict’s mind and body – and killing them slowly.
And anger will kill you also if you allow yourself to be consumed by it.
So, you must become aware of your anger and also the resentment that precedes it.
Because resentment is like a mini-anger which, if you allow it, builds and builds until your blood is boiling with anger.
So, when you practice the meditation technique regularly, you’ll become more aware of your emotional reactions.
And this awareness will carry-over to your daily life so that you’ll have the ability to “watch” yourself.
You’ll “see” resentment rising before it’s gotten hold of you.
Because, once you get angry it’s already too late.
Also you’ll become aware of the specific triggers that cause you to become resentful.
Although they may seem unimportant to someone else, for some reason they get under your skin.
To use a simple example; say you get up in the morning, go to the bathroom to brush your teeth and you see the toothpaste on the side with the cap off.
This could trigger resentment towards the person who left the cap off.
But you might not say anything until one day all that resentment builds up into an angry outburst.
And once you’ve reacted with anger one time, it’s easier to react with anger a second time.
But, if you’ve been meditating regularly and you see the toothpaste cap off, you’ll feel the initial surge of resentment and you’ll recognize it in the moment.
And simply by becoming aware and observing, it’ll immediately start to shrink.
And you’ll have a smile on your face knowing that you’ve won a small victory.
But, you may be thinking, “If I’m not angry, people will take advantage of me.”
Now, if you’ve been used to responding with anger, you may feel a little vulnerable for a while – as if you’ve been disarmed.
But it’s because you’ve learned to get your energy from anger.
And you have to learn to speak up without resorting to anger and get your energy from a different source.
For example, in the 2004 TV reality show The Farm, rap artist Vanilla Ice got into an argument with the British magician Paul Daniels.
Now, it looked like Paul Daniels was really angry. But he was only pretending. And he was able to turn off the “anger” in a split second whilst Vanilla Ice was left not-knowing quite what happened.
You can see a YouTube clip of the argument below.
Now, I’m not saying that you should pretend to be angry.
But you have to discover a different energy – an energy that’s more powerful than anger.
But you’ll only be able to discover it when you stop using anger.
And, if it’s appropriate, you should be able to say the same thing whether you’re angry or not.
And it may even seem to some people that you’re angry.
The only difference is that you won’t be angry at all.
If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape 100 days of sorrow. Chinese proverb