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Dealing with Anger


When most of us hear the word enemies, we probably think immediately of all the people who have actually hurt or harmed us. But there are also tricky adversaries (obstacles) that we all have to contend with—our own inner enemies. These are inner qualities such as anger, greed, lust and ego. Ego refers to excessive self-importance and the belief that we are separate from others and the world.

When we encounter an enemy, whether outer or inner, we tend to go around in the same kind of habitual thinking that has failed to resolve the situation or difficulty in the past—thinking that leaves us feeling frustrated, angry, and unfulfilled. It is an act of braveness to step out of these familiar but flawed ways of dealing with our enemies and seek better ways of dealing with the situation.

It takes courage to be willing to try approaches that shift the enemy dynamic of us-versus-them. The social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, refers to the strategy of shifting our rigid, entrenched, and same-old thinking as stepping outside our "moral matrix." When we do not return anger with anger or when we reject the belief that revenge is our only option, we step out of our moral matrix into a limitless world of enlightened choice. It is those choices that contribute to our self-development. 

Sharon Salzberg

Latchman Narain

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Monday, 22 April 2024

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