"For every minute you are angry,
you lose sixty seconds of happiness."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
My Life Lessons
This is a series of revelations about my life that I am sharing with others for what it may be worth. These come from a lifetime of study and experience of others and myself, and I now translate them to words. These will be numbered; however, they are not in order of importance as all are equally important. It is just a way for me to keep track of them in this series. I hope you find value in them.
Life Lesson #3
Anger is fear, pure and simple. I choose love.
I've said many times before that I used to be an angry man often enough that it was a problem in my life. The problem was what I would choose to focus on. I would often focus on what others were "doing to me," and how "I wasn't to blame," and how it sucked and all the drama that goes along with that kind of attitude.
Anger is just fear, pure and simple. Once I realized this fully, I was able to see inside my thinking and it seemed more and more absurd. Because I was in such a long-term habit of reacting rather than responding, the only way I could find to get out of that pit was to practice responding, or giving myself an opportunity to see it differently. My mom used to say "count to ten," which is another way to have enough time away from the subject to rethink it a bit.
I've also shared before that many years ago, I decided to seriously practice responding rather that reacting. It began in my car when I used to get so upset with stupid drivers doing stupid things, holding me up from where I wanted to be and so on. So I began saying to myself such things as, "hmmmm. . . that's a different way to do that! I wouldn't have thought of doing it that way." I made light of the issue, wasn't looking to blame, finding fun in a strange maneuver, and it was odd to begin with, but the more I did it, the more fun it became. Then I started sharing it with others and they tried it too and it was even more fun.
All change starts with a decision to change and then beginning. It matters not how big or small the effort is in the beginning, but the most important thing is beginning.
I now know confidently that I can choose how I want to feel in any situation. I still have memory tapes that run and try to dissuade me from time to time, but I am certain that I can change how I feel because I have practiced it often.
I love when people ask me, "how are you?" It's one of those bland things people say to make conversation. They are not very interested in what you say after it. And, they don't know what to say when I say stuff like, "I'm off the chart today!" or "I didn't know I could feel this good!" or "on a perfect day like today, how could I not feel the same?". Nobody says that stuff I guess, but I do. And, the more I say it, the more it is true! It doesn't matter what the weather is. I love all kinds of weather! I just like feeling good.
People might try to lead you into anger about some wrong-doing, Obamacare, some tragic event and so on. But, here's the key: You and you alone are in charge of where and what you want to get involved in. Anger is fine if you feel good being there, but I cannot imagine that is true. You can also choose to feel good, to feel love, to appreciate, and to uplift. I'm thinking that feels better, but that's just me.
Is It Possible To Feel Good Most Of The Time? How About Almost All The Time? Indeed. How Many Levels Of Feeling Good Are There?
Spread Some Joy Today--by never sharing anger. Let go of it, and let it go its own way. Joy feels way better.