Restoring The Peace

March 20, 2009

image credit: mckibillo

There are endless opportunities for spiritual practice in any given moment or circumstance in life. This morning I was graced with one  such opportunity. My credit card statement came in the mail and there was a charge that finally made it on my account even though I had talked to both the merchant and the credit card company about it over three months ago. Because the rate of exchange is much higher now on the dollar than it was three months ago, I ended up having to pay a lot more. My husband was angry about that but was resigned to let it go. But I am not one to let an injustice go without speaking up, so I decided to take it up with the credit card company.

It turned out that the supervisor I spoke to was not receptive to my request to have them take up the cost of the difference in the exchange rate. He made some remarks that were not what I would consider good customer relations. As the conversation went on, we both felt more frustrated and I ended up feeling unheard and more angry.

I noticed how easy it was to get all caught up in the emotion of anger. Anger like all the other emotions have an effect on the physical body as well as the mind. My stomach was knotted up, my chest was tight, my lower back was aching. I could feel the hot energy of anger coursing through me. I managed to remember to breathe and to calm myself. I was wronged and I still needed to have some resolution. I could not let it go at that moment.

I talked to the merchant and although it wasn’t any fault of theirs, they offered to give me a twenty percent discount on my next purchase. This exchange was pleasant and I felt heard and valued as a customer. It made me feel a lot better and I thought that it would be appropriate to call the supervisor back and tell him the  outcome. I related what I learned about how to deal with this kind of situation in the future and offered some feed-back about how I was affected by his remarks as a customer. He responded with awe, that I would call him back to give him feed-back in such a professional manner. I felt that I had some closure on the issue. I felt heard by everyone and the supervisor came away feeling better too.

In Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames, he said,“The practice of mindfulness, of recognizing and embracing anger is to open the door of your hell and transform it, rescuing yourself and the other person, returning together to the land of peace. This is possible and you are the one who is going to do it…” Getting to peace is not easy when the ego has so  much investment in being right, being victimized and laying blame. This experience reminds me of some tips I have learned about dealing with anger:

  • To refrain from saying or doing anything that would incite more of an angry response.
  • Practice mindfulness, breathe and come back to self.
  • Make a conscious effort to wait until the emotion has receded to speak to the person about it later, when you can both be more open to hearing each other.
  • Recognize that it is the unresolved anger that we carry from the past, that is being triggered in all situations.
  • Recognize that we alone are responsible for the anger we feel, no matter how justified we feel in being angry. Someone who does not have anger in them will not respond with anger, but in a calm manner.
  • Refrain from laying blame.
  • Contemplate the possibility that our perception of the situation may be wrong.
  • Remember that everybody is only doing the best they can in the moment, though they may have done better before and have the potential to do so later.
  • Be willing to forgive yourself and the other person, no matter who is at fault.
  • Sometimes everyone is right in any given situation.
  • Resolve to act with more compassion for self and others. Anger is an expression of pain and suffering. Compassion brings the healing energy of loving-kindness and helps to alleviate the suffering of all concerned .
  • Be willing to live with happiness than in being right.

Related posts:

Still There

Lightening Your Load

{ 14 comments }

1 Lea 03.21.09 at 1:28 pm

Excellent post Miruh. Very good example how taking a moment to step back, relax and get recentered can be productive for solving problems while being loving to ourselves and others.

2 Maithri 03.21.09 at 9:18 pm

My sister,

You need to write that book… I know i know…while you’re bringin tablets down from the mountain lol….

But seriously, I find your every post so refreshing, engaging, and constructive…

You always speak to the soul of a matter….

Like this most difficult question of dealing with anger….

Wonderful advice, I’m gonna have to get my pen and write some of it down,

Much love dear friend,

M

3 Miruh 03.22.09 at 10:53 am

Hello Lea,

Wonderful to see you here, hope you are enjoying the weekend!

In the moment of red, hot anger, it does take much mindfulness to disentangle from the web of emotions and to act in a manner that is most healing in the situation. But it is possible as I learned on that morning.

Thanks for your kind comment.

May you be centered in peace with warm love and clarity!

4 Miruh 03.22.09 at 11:04 am

Hello Maithri,

I guess a book would be more convenient than stone tablets. LOL…Would you be my agent?

I only write what the muse tells me, it’s all her doing. I am glad that you are finding value in these words.

It is the best gift to myself and to my readers; to keep offering these tidbits in this humble blog. I too am learning much as I write!

Thank you for your generous words, your support and love mean a lot to me.

May you ever bask in the inner fountain of joy and beauty, my friend!

5 Lisa (mommymystic) 03.22.09 at 1:41 pm

Wonderful post, thanks…

6 Miruh 03.22.09 at 8:57 pm

Hello Lisa,

Welcome and thanks for your kind comment.

I took a quick peek at your blog. Great content, I will be by to read more later.

Deep peace to you!

7 Liara Covert 03.24.09 at 7:12 am

This is an engaging piece of self-reflection. Thanks for sharing. Human beings often find themselves between a rock and a hard place when it comes to how to deal with anger. That is, part of the mind wishes to retaliate, toreact or respond in some way, whereas another part of you sees the whole experience as illusion and does not even acknowledge the situation as worthy of attention. Somewhere, in the middle, is a place of learning where action and inner peace coincide. This is the middle ground for which each person finds in the now. It is not necessary to search. All you have to do is become alert to why you generate uncomfortable feelings and why. This dissolves the intensity.

8 Miruh 03.24.09 at 7:45 pm

Hello Liara,

Great advice! Spiritual practice in action . Thich Nhat Hanh said: There is no enlightenment outside of daily life.

Awareness in each moment, in each interaction is the key.

Thanks for your wise words my friend!

May you ever live from the state of pure Awareness!

9 JeD Chan 04.09.09 at 8:56 am

Thanks very much for this. I had just given it a thumbs-up. :) Thanks to Lea for sharing this. I would also probably share this to my readers. :) \

God Bless!

JeD Chan

10 Miruh 04.09.09 at 9:57 pm

Hello JeD,

Welcome! Thanks so much for your support! I am glad you like the post, it is one of my favorites too. It was a very passion filled morning that led to some inspirational writing.

I took a quick peek at your blog, great stuff, will come by soon to read more.

Happy weekend!

11 Aeon Phlo 05.03.09 at 11:15 am

When We choose to be present every moment. Our Beings expand into these Multi Faceted Creatures that can take on more a more. Our Conscious Awareness Blossoms into including many more feelings and reactions then we previous held space for. Anger has alot to do with how we handle fear. In my current blog I speak of this a bit. We call it the old school Struggle.

Anger to me has to do with aspects of the world and myself reflecting a nature that is not of the highest good. I have learned to transmute it with space, time and unconditioned understanding. Allowing it to form into the new creation that no longer repeats itself….

Today is an interesting day and the energy that has been passing in front of me and through me lately, has been, to say the least, like looking through a prismatic fractal creator. I have learned to be the loving observer without judgement.

Blessed Be

:Aeon

12 Miruh 05.03.09 at 8:51 pm

Hello Aeon

Welcome and thank you for your wise words!

“I have learned to transmute it with space, time and unconditioned understanding. ” As you say, being gentle and offering loving-kindness to all parts of us yet again, is the key.

Your experience of ,”like looking through a prismatic fractal creator” sounds like a transformative one.

Peace to you!

13 Angela Wheelock 10.31.11 at 7:38 pm

Hi there,
Just discovered your blog. I enjoyed your posting on anger and forgiveness. We all have work to do in the area. Lately, I’ve been having problems with one of my sisters around the issue of caring for our aging parents. I, too, take a bit from all I’ve learned over the years.

14 Miruh 11.01.11 at 4:04 pm

Hello Angela,

Welcome!

I am glad you enjoyed the post, it is certainly one that we can all relate to. Life is ever providing opportunities to practice the lessons of dealing with anger issues.

Working with family members can be especially challenging when emotions for all involved are on edge with the sensitive nature of the situation. These are the times we are called upon to walk our talk, to put our spirituality into practice, in the day to day requirements of what life presents us with.

Blessings to you and yours!

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