30 days without anger. Beginning May 8, 2012 I commit to 30 days without anger. I have no illusion that I will escape anger completely. My hope is that I can develop my compassion and learn to live without the poison that anger is. A poison that harms not only the angry person but all those who he/she touches.
If you want to join me, please do! In what follows I spell out the 5 principles that I am committing to at the outset. That said, I know they will evolve and grow.
My hope is that we can use this forum to share our experiences and evolve (or abandon altogether) these principle. I will post each day and I look forward to our discussions here and on twitter (hashtag #30dayswithoutanger – though we need something shorter).
Finally I’ve added a short piece on my personal reasons for this practice.
Good Luck and peace to you all!
For each of the next 30 days I commit to the following:
1) I will endeavor to remain mindful of the inclination to anger.
2) When the inclination to anger arises I commit to a moment of calming, regardless of the circumstances, presence of others, or any seeming discomfort in doing so.
3) Following the moment of calm I will commit to listening to whoever has occasioned my dis-ease, or if not a person, to contemplate the situation. This will be without judgment, but with the intent to appreciate what is before me
4) I will not disengage from that which inclined me to anger, or from the world generally. Instead I commit to both stay in the moment and the “angering” situation. I will be an example of what I hope to be, and I will give my calm to others
5) When anger arises despite the above, or should I fall short in my commitment to any of the foregoing, I will not judge myself. I will not see this as a failing nor a failure. Neither will I see it as a great moment for growth. I will see it for what it is: The arising of anger – and I will let it go. (If I must, I will have tea with it.)
My Personal Inspiration
So, I have an anger problem.
Not the kind one normally thinks of when one hears the phrase “anger problem.” I do not go into rages, I don’t scream, curse or hit things. I’ve never threaten violence by word or deed, and I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of or been described as an angry person. In fact, much to my surprise people at work consider me mellow and a peacemaker.
But that’s really my problem. I never have any direct and obvious fallout from my anger. Thus, I get angry at something or someone, fester and churn. My anger stews inside and flavors all my interactions with the world. I simply get bitter and want to disengage from whatever/whoever angered me, and ultimately from most of the world.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not inclined to believe that I need to become more explosive, violent or mean. What I do need to recognize is that anger, even the quiet sort I most often experience, affects how I am in the world. Thus, it affects all those around me and then all those around each of them. My anger breeds more anger, more unrest, and more withdrawal of one person from another.
So, for 30 days I will vow to be (or attempt to be) anger free.