February 15, 2012

About anger

"It is natural for the immature to harm others.
Getting angry with them is like resenting a fire for burning."

Living with a borderline mom can be emotionally draining at times. She feels constantly angry and unhappy, projecting these negative feelings to people closest to her. She refuses to reflect on the real source of her unhappiness and blame others for letting her down instead. No matter how hard I tried, it was never good enough for her. I always had to keep up with her unrealistic expectations. I've tried to talk to her a few times before, but it never worked out well. I have to admit I'm not a patient person, sometimes I lost my own control of emotion and retaliated to her angry outbursts by snapping back.

Today she started screaming at me. After her 10 min-non-stop insults, I started to get pissed off and I kinda practiced a meditation technique by deep breathing and being aware of our emotions. At that moment I realized,"Ok, I'm getting angry." This awareness brought me to a point where I could control my anger and I thought to myself,"I do not want to be robbed of my peace of mind therefore I'm not playing along." It worked! To my own amazement, I calmed down. I didn't respond to her anger invitation (patting myself on the back) :D

This reminds me of a friend's story about his mom. His mom was emotionally abused by his dad and she angrily complained to a monk about her depressing circumstances. The monk told her it's her fault. And she was shell shocked, started reflecting, stopped her complaining and changed her state of mind/ perception. And guess what, his dad started changing and becoming a better person as well when he noticed her becoming more calm, patient and tolerant. Just like what Gandhi said,"Be the change you want to see in the world."

A nice story about how we should deal with anger and insults.

Buddha is abused
by: Anthony de Mello (a late Jesuit priest)

Buddha seemed quite unruffled by the insults hurled at him by a visitor. When his disciples later asked him what the secret of his serenity was, he said:

"Imagine what would happen if someone placed an offering before you and you did not pick it up. Or someone sent you a letter that you refused to open; you would be unaffected by its contents, would you not?"

But despite of all our differences, I'm lucky to have a mother who loves me very much. And at the end of the day, it's all that matters.

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