12 June 2018

The Zen of 0 ~ Anger

Greetings Dear Reader,

We all get angry.  If we say we do not then we are lying.  I am not saying that we all have a hot temper or that we are wrong to get angry.  I am simply laying the common ground that we all feel angry at times.

Anger is not wrong on its own.  We do need to consider the source and purpose of our anger.  We also must maintain its fire and duration.  That is where we can gain the Zen of zero regarding it.

One of the things that has me pondering all of this is my growing difficulty with my anger.  Most of the reasons for my anger are justified.  That is not the issue.  The issue is that I have not maintained a zero balance with that anger.  I used to live always out of balance with my anger.  I had a hot and ready temper that lashed out like Olympian lightning.

When others see me angry it must be much more unpleasant than I understand.  This and the aforementioned problem are enough for me to need to maintain my anger as close to zero as possible.  The difficulty is that instead of dealing with it, I sometimes suppress or deny it.  This makes it impossible to achieve a zero-sum with anger.

When I suppress it I will eventually boil over.  I will lash out or make unreasonable choices and demands.   When I deny it I take more damage and it whittles away at my confidence and serenity.  I have some guidelines that help prevent this.  I must make sure that I am never too unaware to use them.

Here they are.  Keep the meat; throw the bones in the fire:
  • I ask if my anger is justified.  Have I really been wronged or is it my pride and expectations?  It is easy to dismiss this without really thinking through it.
  • If my anger is not justified, I must examine what caused it.  I must root out my improper thinking and actions that led me to this place.  I must adjust my attitude and actions to temper my anger (pun intended).  I must put things in place to mitigate a reoccurrence. 
  • If my anger is justified, I must wrangle my emotions.  Paul tells us to “be angry and not sin”.  Both of these are commands.  They can live in harmony.  The first step is to control my emotional response so that I do no harm.  This is very hard for me.
  • Once I have my emotions under control I must consider how I will show love to the source of my anger.  How will I set up a path to forgiveness and reconciliation? 
  • No matter what it takes I need to forgive immediately.  I must never go to bed angry.  I must not let the day end in anger.  It is unhealthy and eventually dangerous.
  • Even if the other party never admits wrong or changes behavior, I must not rekindle the anger.  I must not let it build and gain power.

It is vital that anger not get a long lease in our lives.  It is more dangerous than we consider.  If I am to follow Christ well, I must keep short accounts and a zero-sum balance with anger.  Though justifiable and even at times appropriate, it is a dangerous and living fire.  It must be always tended and rarely fueled. 

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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