Today’s Gem of Insight #90

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Today’s insight journey led me to the idea that it’s not the anger that we feel, but what we do with that anger, that stifles our lives. Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a challenging situation that not only affected you, but also affected a number of other people around you? And did you also notice how differently the people experiencing that same set of circumstances handled that situation? One person in the corner may have complained about how long it was taking to resolve the situation. Another individual across the room might very well have been ignoring the whole situation entirely, choosing instead to focus on the smartphone resting on that person’s lap. And yet another person may have been telling anyone who would listen how this sort of thing never happens when they go to XYZ’s business, and how heads were going to role if the company did not provide some sort of compensation for the delay. And all of this was unfolding before your eyes as you evaluated the scene while, likely unknowingly, comparing your standard reaction to those of the individuals around you. And after a few moments of observation and contemplation you might have reached the conclusion that anger brings nothing but trouble, and in order to avoid behaving like this person or that person you had better just avoid anger all together.

In theory, avoiding anger probably would save us a lot of heartache, but would it truly increase the quality of our lives? Oddly enough, evicting anger from our lives would not necessarily increase the quality of our lives. How could that be? I knew that you would ask that question. Anger is not the culprit in any volatile, inappropriately handled, negativity-inducing situation. The people who wield their anger in those situations are the culprits. You see, in life we are meant to experience anger at times – towards injustice, malfeasance, nonfeasance, apathy, and the like. Yet, it is not meant for us to allow anger to consume us, nor is it meant for us to allow ourselves to act out negatively in anger. We can become angry about something and then make the conscious choice to allow that anger to point us in the direction of a cause that we need to take up, a conversation that we need to have, or a person with whom we need to make amends. A lot of people make it to this stage in the process fairly easily. And considering the fact that human beings can be very emotional beings, that truth probably comes as no surprise to you.

However, it is while en route to the next stage of the process that many of us stumble (yes, I have had my moments too). You see, the next stage is where we set that anger aside and replace it with love. Love? Yes, love. Because even though anger brought us to that cause, that conversation, or that person, it is only love that will make it possible for us to connect with that cause, that conversation, or that person. Anger, when carried as a weapon, is capable of nothing other than bruising, damaging, and destroying anything and anyone of value. But when anger is used as a catalyst that willingly sacrifices itself in the equation so that we can advance toward positive and fruitful endeavors, anger is finally recognized for what it truly was intended to be – an emotion that is meant to point us in the direction of where we need to go, but never, ever, make that trip with us. #lovebythedrop

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