"You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger." Buddha
I was thinking about anger last Saturday when I was very frustrated. I had awakened early because I had a couple of appointments to attend to.
Normally, the first thing I do when I wake is meditate for 30 minutes. Then I turn on my cell phone to see if I have any calls or text messages that I must respond to right away. But when I turned on my iPhone, the Apple symbol showed up on the screen and the phone froze right there. I tried all the methods I've used before but I couldn't get anywhere with it. It was stuck right there and and I couldn't do anything to change it.
Since it was still early in the morning – around 6:45 AM – I knew I wouldn't be able to get the phone repaired until the phone store opened. But I I got on my computer anyway and found the closest store and sure enough, it didn't open until 10 AM.
So wanting to make the best of the situation rather than waste time waiting for the store to open, I logged into my office computer remotely, planning to do some accounting. However, for some reason my accounting program had disappeared from my desktop. And after looking for a while I had no luck in finding it. Nor could I find it on my home office computer.
Aware that I was becoming quite frustrated with the way my day was starting off, I made a commitment to not become angry although every cell in my body was crying out for me to smash something. Maybe my computer. Or maybe kick a hole in the wall. Something destructive. But I didn't react that way.
And I didn't because I realized a long time ago in my early sobriety that anger was my default emotion. And the anger I indulged in never got me anywhere. And when I was done being angry I still had the same problem facing me. At some point I realized that I no longer wanted to spend one second of my precious time engaging in anger over anything. We only have so much time on this planet and I believe that it's a total waste of those precious minutes to engage in anger - no matter what is going on.
Now I realize that it's superhuman to never get angry about anything. That it's just not natural to not get passed off once in a while. But with practice I learned that I can become more aware of my emotions and realize that I don't have to go there – and in particular - I don't have to stay there.