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OMPM: Hanging On To Anger January 13, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness.

A friend called one day in a huff because a package of books she had ordered hadn’t  arrived in the expected timeframe.  She reordered the books, and then received both packages, with identical items, on the same day. 

Turns out that the initial package had spent longer in the local post office than it should have.  

As she relayed the story to me, every word conveyed her anger, irritation, and indignation at the post office for the delayed delivery.   

Curious, I asked, “When did the packages show up ~ today?”

“Oh, probably three or four days ago.”

“Three or four days ago?!  Wow!  Why are you choosing to hang on to your anger?” 

“I’m not choosing to hang on to my anger.”

“Of course you are.  As soon as the packages arrived, you could have chosen to set aside your anger.  Instead, you’ve chosen to hang on to it.  Why?  Why are you doing that to yourself?”

“Well . . . THEY just make me so mad.  THEY are always doing things like this.  THEY need to . . . ” 

THEY are not doing anything to you.”

Not only did she resist letting go of her anger, she wanted me to share her outrage.   I refused.  

“Do you think the post office did it on purpose?  Just to piss you off?”

“No.  I’m sure they didn’t do it on purpose.”

“Maybe they did do it on purpose.  Maybe they wanted to piss you off so that you would waste time telling people how angry you are about the mix-up.  You should let your anger go.  That would show them.”  

“Well, I don’t think they did it just to annoy me.” 

“Exactly.  So let it go.”

Being mindful of our thoughts is more than just a way of managing the “petty annoyances” in life . . . it’s changing our perspective in such a way that things don’t often rise to the level of “petty annoyance.”   

We retrain ourselves to see things as they are, and accept them as they are, without getting our feathers ruffled by the intentional, and unintentional, “dive bombers” we encounter along the way. 

Quotes to ponder: 

* Don’t be quick to take offense.

* We take showers each morning to wash off yesterday’s junk, but we often forget to toss out yesterday’s anger, pain, and frustration.  Instead of toting yesterday’s trash around, let it go. ~ Marianne Richardson (paraphrased) 

* Betrayal by others is a gift which allows us to grow in forgiveness.  We betray ourselves by hanging on to every slight, real and imagined.

* When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us:  power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness.   Our hate is not hurting them at all, but our hate is turning our own days and nights into a hellish turmoil. ~ Dale Carnegie

* How can you seize the day until you let go of yesterday?  

* People hang on to so much of the past that they have no room for the present.

* To fully embrace this moment, you must let go of the past. 

* How much time we waste on matters we would brush aside if we knew our time grew nigh.

* When you have conquered the enemy within, there are no enemies left to conquer. 

No rules.  Just write!

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1. Debra - January 13, 2011

Yes, so true….Namaste and thank you for this post!

nrhatch - January 13, 2011

Thanks, Debra! namaste

Cindy - January 14, 2011

Echo the namaste.

2. Paula - January 13, 2011

For some reason or other I wasn’t allowed to “like” this post without signing in! Should I get mad and hang on to it?

I am often amazed at how long it takes people to learn – and unfortunately I have noticed lately that many people NEVER do – that NO ONE and NO THING can MAKE you do or feel anything. Each individual is entirely responsible for how s/he feels or what s/he does. The concept that produces “You make me so mad,” or “S/He made me do that” is so prevalent today, although it probably always has been. The desire to run away from responsibility is so strong. We want to make anyone or anything the culprit not just for what we do or say, but for what we think! It’s an odd thing, really, because the rewards for taking responsibility for ourselves so far outweigh the drawbacks. I guess some feel that staying angry (or whatever) is worth the energy. Personally, I’ve got too little of it to want to waste it on anything non-productive, but maybe that’s just me (and, apparently, you!). 😀

nrhatch - January 13, 2011

People feel “entitled” to be angry (and stay angry), or to be sad (and stay sad), without realizing that that sense of entitlement is only hurting them.

3. Brown Eyed Mystic - January 13, 2011

In every hardship, there is a lesson. I have learnt this long ago, and in not the easiest way possible 🙂 But if it were easy, would we ever call it a “lesson”?

How many times do we acknowledge a happy moment as a “lesson”? Hardly any. So, assuming we are not ready to discover newer things from the best events in our lives, we are presented with the hardships.

Your post was a brilliant morning read, Nancy.


nrhatch - January 13, 2011

Thanks, BrownEyed!

The more mindful we are of our thoughts, the more control we feel as we move through life.

4. Carol Ann Hoel - January 13, 2011

People who can’t or won’t let go of anger hurt themselves. Indulging in anger and blame is like eating poison and hoping your enemy will die. Blessings to you, Nancy.

nrhatch - January 13, 2011

Very true, Carol. The faster we allow ourselves to “rebound” from minor (and no so minor) issues . . . the happier we become.

5. granny1947 - January 14, 2011

Great advice…have a super anger free day.

nrhatch - January 14, 2011

You too, Granny!

6. suzicate - January 14, 2011

I know people like that …they just can’t seem to let go and they want to be validated for their anger and or bitterness…wears me out! Please send me an email explaining what this “No rules. Just write!” is. Is this a theme (meme) you are referring to in your posts or are you offering this prompt to others? Just curious….I’m always just writing…inspiration is everywhere we look, if we look! Always wnjoy your posts of reflection.

nrhatch - January 14, 2011

I agree. It’s easy to lose our perspective when faced with the negative proclivities of those around us.

“No rules. Just write!” is the theme of my blog.

The more mindful we become, the more freedom we have to live life by our own rules.

Instead of looking “out there” for the answers, or to get permission from others to say what we want to say, we use our internal compass to guide us in what to do, say, be, wear, or write.

7. OMPM: Television & Blogging | Spirit Lights The Way - March 14, 2014

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