“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” Albert Einstein
I noticed how many of us get fired up about things that are aggravating or upsetting. We tend to dwell on those issues that anger us. The more we think about it and ponder it and discuss it, the stronger the fire gets. It makes us want to correct the problem or so we think. The way we choose to correct an incident can make a difference in the outcome. If we lash out at the person of our perceived frustration, throwing all of our frustration at them, we escalate the blaze and difficulty. We are left with the options of watching our antagonist burn to ashes or we can walk away.After the altercation we come back to our sanity and convince ourselves the competitor deserved it and made us do it. Now we attempt to convince ourselves we were justified to retaliate. Have you ever noticed that after our storm, we have an uneasiness that won’t go away? We review all the things the person did to us in order to justify the correctness of our angry actions. Guilt is what appears to be creeping into our minds and we fight to eliminate it with a deeper examination of past upsets and injustices. Validating our actions is paramount.
We begin to talk about the person and the incident with others so that we can acquire support and approval for our behaviors. In the end it doesn’t work and the restlessness won’t cease so we confront the object of our irritation again because now we blame them for the uncomfortable feelings we are having. It’s their fault we got so annoyed. Our actions now color our mood which isn’t the happiest. We snap a quick retort at others, feel tired and drained, and begin to have a cold or illness coming on. Sleep is restless and the irritation and resentment towards the person of hatred increases.
Does this sound familiar? We have all been in that place at one time or another. Viewing it from a faraway place, and a distant time makes us realize it gained us nothing, and cost us an assortment of damage. We feel emotionally and physically drained by our actions. Our opponent is likely experiencing the same feelings. The effect is a smoldering fire that simply won’t be distinguished. It almost consumes our thoughts. We might ask if there was a better way we could have handled this whole anger situation.
By talking through various scenarios, we can reflect on a healthier answer to the circumstances. If we accept 10% of the blame, sit down, and honestly share our feelings, a more favorable outcome may be attained. When we acquire back and forth feedback that is clear and concise it keeps everyone’s ego intact. It is comforting to know that our opponent is accepting a piece of the guilt regardless of the percentage. It may be unimportant to give ratios if we are attempting compromise and peace.
We may consider the fact our opponent may have some deep rooted questions, or may be going through a difficult time in their lives. Even if their fear is unfounded, it can be just as immobilizing. Their carelessness or thoughtlessness might have been their own worries. One moment of stepping back, reflecting before reacting, compassion before retribution might have saved both of us a multitude of heartache. None of us in honesty is without blame. We should never let a small smoldering fire inside of us, increase to the point of no return. In the end it consumes both of us.
By the simple art of discussion, we can put out the fire. With verbal communication we may understand, accept and tolerate transgressions against us. We may eliminate sleepless nights of doubt and worry. We can learn to have a positive open attitude towards everyone we encounter. Even when another does not respond to our overtures of reconciliation, we can keep peace within ourselves. Rather than allowing fury to burn us into a blaze of ashes we can be a light of comfort for another in their moment of darkness.
“He who angers you conquers you.” Elizabeth Kenny Australian Nurse
“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.” Booker T. Washington
“The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.” Thomas Carlyle