And guess what?
You're the one who gets burned.
But what does this actually mean?
It's a powerful reminder: holding onto anger can ultimately hurt you more than anyone else.
Eastern philosophy puts great emphasis on the power of letting go of anger.
But why is this concept so important?
And what wisdom can you gain from embracing this practice in your daily life?
So, what is anger?
In Eastern philosophy, anger is an emotion that arises from the ego's identification with the body and mind.
When you identify with the body and the mind, you become attached to your desires and expectations.
And what happens when life doesn't conform to your expectations?
You become frustrated.
And eventually angry.
Anger is a form of mental blindness.
It prevents you from seeing things as they truly are. And you end up making decisions that are... let's say, not in your best interest.
In other words:
When you're angry, you're not thinking clearly.
Your thoughts are clouded with emotion. And it's difficult to make rational decisions.
This is why it's not uncommon for people to do things they regret when they're angry.
And if you haven't already figured this out, spoiler alert:
The goal is to recognize how pointless anger is. And cultivate mental clarity and calmness instead.
And what if I, just hypothetically, let go?
Letting go is like releasing that hot coal.
It's an act of radical acceptance and surrender.
Think about it this way:
When you're holding onto anger, you're trying to control the situation or person that made you angry.
But the reality is, you can't control everything. And trying to do so only adds fuel to the fire.
By letting go, you're releasing that desire for control.
And in doing so, you're freeing yourself from the burden of anger.
You're giving yourself the space to see things clearly, make better decisions, and have more positive states of mind.
This can lead to more harmonious relationships, better problem-solving skills, and a greater sense of inner peace.
And letting go of anger is also a form of spiritual purification that leads to greater wisdom and compassion.
But how the [insert funny word] do I let go of anger?
To overcome anger, you must first be able to recognize it when it appears.
So, how do you do that?
First, take yourself out of the game.
Observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance. As if you're watching a movie. Without getting attached or reactive.
(This practice of non-reactivity can already help you avoid making impulsive decisions.)
When you notice a surge of anger rising within you, take a step back. And try to understand its root cause.
Anger often comes from unmet expectations or desires that don't match up with reality.
By acknowledging this, you can begin to shift your mindset and let go of the attachment to those expectations.
And by letting go of these attachments and accepting things as they are, you can release the grip of anger on your mind.
But a heads up:
It takes time and effort to train your mind to stop getting caught up in anger (or any other negative emotion).
It's like a mental gym. The more you practice, the stronger your mind becomes.
At some point, you'll get the hang of recognizing anger and just letting it go without letting it take over.
Don't sweat it
We all have our triggers and vulnerabilities.
And it's okay to feel angry when you come across injustice or cruelty.
Anger is a natural human emotion that comes from our attachment and delusion.
You can overcome anger by cultivating mental clarity and calmness.
So, the next time you feel anger rising within you, remember the wisdom of letting go.
And choose to respond with a calm and peaceful mind.