Anger Diet

 

I am on an anger diet.

After being on a hot button strike, I decided to explore  the pervasive ways I nourish the wolf of hate in my heart, instead of the wolf of love*.

wolves

*A Native American elder was asked how she had become so wise, so happy and so respected. She answered: “In my heart there are two wolves: a wolf of love and a wolf of hate. It all depends on which one I feed each day” (Bhudda’s Brain, Rick Hanson)

My indigestion started while I was watching the political debates. I was indignant by “them” “the other camp” and “their non-sense”. I heard somebody in the public discussion say: “We don’t want your hate”! And I thought: “YEAH! I don’t want your hate”!!

Whose hate was I referring to?  Was one hate worse than another? Was I completely delusional about my own hatred? If I was infuriated by the others and their wrong opinions as they were of mine, what hope was there for the world?

So I asked myself where else in my life am I so violently wedded to my own position, that I am unable and unwilling to acknowledge or reach  out to the other camp?

anger-diet-spouse

Even in homeopathic doses, the accumulated effect of anger is undeniably toxic to joy, connection and intimacy in a family.

Pursuing my reflections, I asked my daughter if she liked it when her parents fight? She said “no.” I was expecting  her to say, “I don’t care”.

The day after that enlightening exchange, I made an official declaration to my family that I would  refrain from expressing my anger until the end of April.

Since then, anger shows up in me all the time. Perhaps I’m like somebody on a croissant diet who suddenly realizes there are bakeries everywhere in Paris. I was just not paying attention before.

Anger energy takes all sorts of nuanced forms: irritation, annoyance, enervation, frustration and self-righteousness- but there is a specific sensation in the body: a rigidity, that reminds me that my lifelong companion –my ego– is not far behind whispering its same old tunes.

My experimentation with anger is far from being perfect, but I’m committed, and already I am noticing  a surprising benefit: I feel more in sync with who I am – a well-intentioned human being with a solid heart, and countless flaws.

Which wolf do you feed? Are you inspired by the question? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Happy Spring energy!

anger-diet--time-issue2

Anger Diet

18 Responses

  1. Food for thought. Definitely challenges me!

    Tesse March 29, 2016 at 3:37 am #
    • Thats good news, Tesse!

      Carole Lévy March 29, 2016 at 7:36 am #
    • This is another excellent timely reminder… always enjoy your posts.

      Thank you,

      Rick Manella March 29, 2016 at 11:57 am #
  2. Inspiration ! Merci ! Si juste ! Quel cadeau encore ! Keep going girl 🙂

    Helene March 29, 2016 at 4:59 am #
  3. Great article and affirmation for the month! I’ve tried to take this approach with random strangers on small things, like shoveling their walk or cutting me off at the store. Avoiding these small bouts of anger makes for a more pleasant day. But thinking about not choosing anger when dealing with bigger problems, especially with family, will be a bigger challenge. I would love some tips to keep in my quiver when facing the decision.

    Lisa March 29, 2016 at 5:05 am #
    • Thanks for your comment, Lisa. There are many things to say about “tips”/tools/approaches for the big situations, but as you probably already know, the trick is to find yours in accordance to your personal journey. One day, I thought “as long as I’m critical/angry at my spouse, I’m not done with the work”. It was simple but it became an anchor to continue searching, questioning myself, not being so right all the time, find other ways, measure the consequences while staying gentle with myself…

      Carole Lévy March 29, 2016 at 7:33 am #
  4. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.
    I want the Wolf Heart drawing to remind me.

    Kim March 29, 2016 at 8:28 am #
  5. I want the Wolf Heart drawing too. Maybe you should make a giant poster of it so that everyone can hang it in their house as a reminder that we have a choice. Then and only then will there be world peace!

    Thanks again for an eye opening, entertaining, brilliant spin on life’s challenges.

    Susan Isa Efros March 29, 2016 at 9:27 am #
    • Thanks Susan! I like the idea of the giant poster…

      Carole Lévy March 29, 2016 at 10:54 am #
  6. Thank you…..I needed this reminder today that there are so many better ways to treat yourself, and others.

    Roland March 29, 2016 at 9:31 am #
  7. Superb!!!
    Very clever reminder, every moment I have a choice;
    being awake, being aware and I can make a choice.
    I love your Wolves.

    Jean-Pierre

    Jean-Pierre Guilhaume March 29, 2016 at 9:38 am #
    • Thanks Jean-Pierre for your invaluable contribution on this post!

      Carole Lévy March 29, 2016 at 10:55 am #
  8. I am loving your art…I agree that the wolf drawing would be a great poster…or perhaps make your own deck of “tarot” cards.
    I resonate with what you said about not adding more hate to the hate. We just do what we accuse the other side of doing.
    Good luck with your no anger April–if you make it thru with no rage–you’ll be enlightened!

    Allison fragakis March 29, 2016 at 1:25 pm #
    • Ah (French interjection), being enlightened… let’s see end of April! Thanks Allison!

      Carole Lévy March 29, 2016 at 3:57 pm #
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