Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Treating Anger with Tenderness

If treating your anger with tenderness isn't second nature for you, then of course, when you are angry, you will vent your anger. Venting anger by taking it out on another person or hitting a tree or punching your pillow is simply rehearsing your anger. This is dangerous and can easily become a pattern. In this section Hanh reminds us to treat our anger like a child, a baby, that we nurture. Would you hit your child if he or she has a temper?
Sometimes we "beat" ourselves up when we are angry or frustrated. Sometimes other people do this to us - instead of helping us to nurture our anger, they get angry at us for being angry. "If you do not know how to treat yourself with compassion then you will not know how to treat others with compassion." The next time you feel angry, nurture your anger. "Breathing in, I know that anger is in me. Breathing out, I am taking good care of my anger." Act like a mother with your anger. "Breathing in, I know that my child is crying. Breathing out, I will take good care of my child." This is the practice of compassion.

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