Our response to all the bad things that happen determines if more bad will keep happening to us or if the bad streak will finally reach the end of the line and stop with you. But stopping the momentum of anger can seem nearly impossible. What do I do with my anger?
We need to sit with the way anger feels without doing anything else. We need to let the fire burn without catching anything else on fire. Very often, fight Dynamics self-generate, like an internal combustion engine. Someone does something astringent and abrasive to us and it hurts, it really hurts. Pain generates anger. When we get hurt, we get angry because we do not like getting hurt. It hurts. And that makes us angry. But our anger is not the hurting. Anger keeps the hurt going, like combustion. Being hurt is the worst possible thing that can happen and we logically conclude that we must get rid of the hurt as fast as possible! Anger takes action to rid us of that burning pain by treating it like a hot potato. We pass pain and anger on. It happens fast. Faster than we are aware. We respond, lash out, defend against, and build up a wall from which to throw potatoes.
We try to give that hot-potato energy back to the person who gave it to us- or, even worse, we give it to someone else who had nothing to do with the potato at hand in any way. Passing the potato keeps the whole thing circulating around and around this wide round Earth. And because the Earth is round, what we throw out there is going to come right back round… to us- usually from behind, knocking us upside the head.
If someone gives you a hot potato, try to just drop it and say, “Man, that potato they just handed me really hurt. I really wish they’d not give such things to me. I am not going to give such a painful thing back to them. I am going to put it down.” and then look at the issue for what it really is- a thing on fire that needs putting out.
It may be that you get handed a really big potato. Maybe even when you set it down, it is so heavy it bends the fabric of space-time and pulls you into its slope. And it may feel like you have no choice but to be pulled into the vortex of someone else’s action because we all share the same space-time fabric.
If such a thing happens to you, it may be helpful to remember where potatoes come from and where potatoes belong. They come from and belong in the ground. If you have been handed a big potato, look down, dear gardener. It is time to stop making eye-contact and turn Earthward.
It is time to plant.
Put anger in the ground so it can grow into something useful.