“A saint was asked, ‘What is anger?’ He gave a beautiful answer: ‘It is punishment we give ourself, for somebody else’s mistake!’” By unknown

For me anger and frustration are often interchangeable in the essence of this quote. That strong, lingering, and negative feeling that heats up our minds and tightens our guts is a feeling that we alone own in the situations they come from. Seldom is our imagined opponent feeling the same anger. In a competition situation, where they may have one, they leave happy and we leave angry. That is a little removed from the meaning of this statement, but is it? In the case of someone making a mistake that makes you angry, they can only have their own feelings, not your anger. In my own case where I make a mistake, I feel embarrassed first, possibly disappointed in myself, maybe frustrated, but when I’m confronted by the anger someone else feels about my mistake, I go through a whole new gamut of feelings. When resentment is one of them, I eventually forgive myself for the mistake. I really have no more attachment to anyone else anger, unless I choose to hold onto it.

In that case, I really am punishing myself for the other person’s lack of understanding. I’m not sure I’m explaining this one very well. Perhaps the part I focused on is the idea that we punish ourselves for situations. We are not defined by those situations, nor are any other people who may have their own emotional reactions. 

What does this quote mean to you?

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3 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Triumphs #13: Ouch, I’m angry again.

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