I’ve been teaching people about anger for nearly twenty five years. What I do is commonly referred to as anger management training. However, this implies that people must first become irate and then seek methods of how to manage it effectively, express it appropriately, and ultimately put it to rest so it does not cause further distress or damage. This makes about as much sense as allowing your house to catch on fire and then taking the necessary steps to extinguish the flames. Firefighters emphasize the importance of fire prevention as a more intelligent approach to fire safety. And while anger is not necessarily a destructive emotion, it can be quite troublesome and on occasion deadly if one does not understand its purpose as well as how to effectively utilize it for constructive purposes. However, the entire process of becoming angry, putting forth a concerted effort to handle it responsibly, and ultimately relinquishing any residual feelings can be a risky, time-consuming, and mentally exhausting process.
Today, more and more people are opting to practice preventative medicine, i.e. incorporating healthy lifestyle strategies that reduce the risk of or prevent medical maladies from occurring rather than treating them after-the-fact. In this same regard, taking a proactive approach with anger through the use of prevention strategies is simply a smarter and safer way of living. Here is the F~B~I way to ward off ire and live free of strife, giving us the opportunity to experience consistent joy and peace instead.
F: Faith in God. Those who have a strong connection to their higher power have been shown to have lower levels of stress and anger. They are less judgmental of others, forgive easier, worry less, and have higher levels of inner peace. They tend to be more optimistic and positive in life, always seeking reasons to give thanks and be joyful. Those with deeply rooted beliefs in God understand that everything that enters our lives has a higher purpose. Life is never about the incident we are experiencing. Perhaps we are to learn an important lesson or the occurrence is meant to redirect the course of our lives or protect us from harm. Maybe God has a specific purpose that we are intended to fulfill and this is part of His Divine Plan. Therefore, those who live in faith aren’t bitter or resentful of that which does not follow their own plans. Nor do we sweat the small stuff for we understand that in reality it’s all small, certainly in relation to God’s power and grace.
Fear, the antithesis of faith, is one of the root causes of anger. Therefore, those who worry about actual incidences, or those they are projecting may occur, increase their levels of being annoyed, upset, or downright irate. By substituting trust in our Lord for worry, one alleviates any chances of anger arising.
B: Believe in the goodness of others. Much of our anger arises from the judgments and labels we put on one another. We observe someone engaging in an act that we find reproachable and we label them as immoral, selfish, idiots, haters, perverts, and so on. The moment we place a label on someone we have formed a powerful thought about them which determines how we feel. (See TECO Magic in The Secret Side of Anger) A derogatory thought will produce intense feelings of disdain, anger, bitterness, distrust, superiority, etc. However, we can ward off these types of feelings simply by believing in the goodness of humanity; by giving the other person the benefit of the doubt before forming an opinion of them. Perhaps they were unaware of what they had done or the serious nature of their offense. We can choose compassion over judgment understanding that no one is here to live up to the expectations of another; that every choice an individual makes is a necessary part of their life’s journey; and that every one of us makes poor decisions from time to time. Each of us are dealing with a host of personal issues that impact our behaviors and choices. Life is difficult and the journey long. Be patient with one another and forgiving at all times and this shift in attitude will prevent anger from manifesting.
I: Inspire. Live an inspired life. The word itself is self-explanatory. Inspired means to reside in spirit; to live as our authentic selves, spirit – beings of light and love. People mistakenly believe that we are physical/human beings with souls. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The reverse is true: we are spiritual beings having a temporary physical experience. When we acknowledge our authentic selves we live as expressions of love. We embrace the divinity within each of our brothers and sisters recognizing our oneness with the Divine Source of all that is good. Love never condemns or criticizes. Love supports and encourages; love is patient and understanding; love is kind and forgiving; love is gentle and humble; love is sacrificial and generous; love is all-inclusive.
When one chooses to live in love there is no room for anger for the two cannot exist simultaneously. One would have to make a conscious decision to relinquish their very nature and live in contradiction of who they are. That action alone leads to indescribable hardship, internal conflict, and despair. All suffering is the direct result of our choice to live deceptive lives. Therefore, the more you live in spirit, inspired lives, the more joy and contentment you will experience.
The F~B~I way to ward off anger is one few will abide by claiming it to be too simplistic or unrealistic. But I can assure you, based on personal experience, that when I follow my own suggestions such as these I find them to be completely attainable and valid. It is only when I relinquish authority to my ego do I cause my own anger and ultimate suffering.
I am passionate about my physical health and proactive in making certain I remain healthy and safe for the duration of my life. Yet my body is only temporary. My soul is eternal. Isn’t it more important that I apply that same passion to my emotional and spiritual well-being? You bet it is! I much prefer to live a life of peace, joy, and contentment. Therefore if I follow these three suggestions – have faith in God, believe in the goodness of humanity, and live an inspired life – then I can live free of anger and all its perils. I invite you to join me for this profound transformation.
“Peace isn’t the absence of fighting; peace is the presence of kindness.” The Secret Side of Anger by Janet Pfeiffer
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