Anger is an extremely damaging emotion with far-reaching effects. However, the good news is that it is up to us to embrace this emotion or do away with it. Anger or peace—the choice is ours. Each one of us feels angry at some point— when somebody says something unpleasant to you, or utters some rude words. Instead of thinking that you have a choice, usually, like everyone else, your first instinct is to react angrily.
In no time, you let loose the terror within and respond with words much nastier than those originally used on you.
There may be times when someone takes something that belongs to you and doesn’t return what is due to you. The natural reaction is to get angry. However, you choose to react calmly, knowing that only one of two things can happen—either what was taken from you will be returned, or what is gone is gone forever and there is nothing more you can do to bring it back. Thus, by being calm, you can nip this terror in the bud. You have to realise that anger will only make things worse. So, it’s a choice you have to consciously make every time.
Cultivating terror within is a choice. It is like carrying a time bomb in your pocket— you put it there voluntarily. Despite your understanding that it’s a choice, it is evidently foolish to choose to be angry.
Once you realise that anger can be overcome, you must learn to prevent anger, else, to control anger; that again is a choice. Either we choose to live with the terror being nourished within us, allowing it to express itself, or we can choose to live a peaceful life by eliminating anger, starving it and ignoring the terror it seeks to spread.
Don’t forget that your reactions are your choice. Remaining calm is also a choice. Our reactions stem from choices we make. We can choose to fill our life with positive emotions like faith, hope, love, compassion, sympathy, forgiveness, joy, confidence, courage, acceptance and peace. All of these emotions lead us to choose peace and calmness over anger. However, if you choose negative emotions like greed, fear, worry, apathy, indifference, hate, jealousy, gossip and revenge, then you actually choose anger unconsciously and lose your life to it.
While getting angry or not is a choice, one must know how to choose not to get angry to combat this terror within. What are the positive soldiers that one must put on guard in their life? Let’s examine each of these emotions below as if they were positive soldiers protecting us from the terror within and helping us choose not to be angry.
Let us suppose that the positive soldier Forgiveness stands at the edge of our minds when somebody makes a mistake. We can choose to fly into a rage but these positive soldiers interrupt and help us choose to forgive. Forgiveness is the key to conquering the terror within. It defuses the negative energy.
In a situation where somebody demands more from us or irritates us so much that we feel agitated, we could call out to the positive soldier Generosity, and avoid getting angry. Without this soldier, the unfair demands would induce us to get irritated and upset, igniting the terror within.
Sometimes we feel hurt that somebody dear to us has let us down.
Our mind forces us to believe that we have been agitated due to the insincerity of a loyal aid. If only positive soldier Trust took command of our minds, we would protect the terror within from blasting poison and would eventually recover our peace and composure.
There are times in life when we expect something to happen. A student wants to get into college and is refused. This triggers poison within and spurs the terror within to make him angry. At this point, the positive soldier, Acceptance, could be called upon. Acceptance would teach us to realise that everything happens for a purpose and anger is of no use. Therefore, we could choose not to get angry and instead be at peace with ourselves.
There are instances when we get agitated, say when somebody wastes our time. What happens when we wait in a slow-moving queue at the supermarket? The lethargy of the clerk forces us to get angry and the terror within strikes. If only we had the positive soldier Patience with us, we would learn to be cool and calm.
Then, there are times, when people act foolishly, in fact, idiotically and this upsets us. The terror within makes us use unpleasant words and the poison spits out through our tongue. If we wanted we could choose not to get angry and be Humorous, laughing at the situation retaining our calm.
There are many situations where people get angry with family members. A child gets upset and angry because the father leaves behind his property for other siblings. The father dies, the will is made, and nothing can be changed. Either the angered individual continues to live in anger; unleashing the terror or calls upon the positive soldier
Contentment to bring peace. This is a positive emotion that lets one count one’s blessings.
If you want to choose not to be angry, learn to choose positive emotions. Be calm, pleasing, selfless, agreeable, kind and tranquil. Learn to love, laugh and live and you will be able to choose to eliminate the terror within and live peacefully forever and ever.
This was first published in the August 2012 issue of Complete Wellbeing
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