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Staying happy in an angry world

September 21, 2014

I have long since accepted that the world around me is largely angry.  Social media has illustrated this completely but daily living and just a dose of the news can make it painfully obvious without even really trying.

Make no mistake, however, I will not claim myself to be an observer only.  As an active empath and a man with a daily task to remain aware of his own character defects and ISMs, I am often painfully aware and fully conscious of my own tendency to find what is not “acceptable”  in something and experience a bit of displeasure, raising my anger levels as well.

What has become most important for my path is not about the anger, or what I find myself angry about, but more within my reactions to the triggers and stimuli.  The more I am aware that the outside world is going to push my many, many buttons, (anyone who doesn’t have at least a couple is numbed out or lying) the more I can use an active set of tools and solutions to arrest the urges and take the deep breathes necessary to make sure the outcome of these thoughts is not something I end up having to regret or, worse, requires an amends down the road.

One of my best tools is to let go of ego.  Invariably it does not matter if I am angered with something or someone.  Knowing that something does not agree with me does not afford me the right to do anything about it outwardly.  Sure, there is the right to an opinion.  Definitely there is room for good, healthy action towards positive result.  But the moment I begin to believe that I am “owed” anything or retribution or retaliation is a good idea is the moment I have slipped from solution and into the creation of a problem that will involve me directly (whereas the likelihood is it’s origin was not.)

There is a lot to be angry about in this world.   I have experienced plenty in my life that could (or has) set me in a dour and indignant direction.  Going there has never provided me with the happiness that I honestly feel should be (and is) my only true destination for the years that I have left on the planet.  I became tired of believing that my being right is more important than the happiness I know I am capable of achieving and experiencing.  I have struggled with and continue to learn the true nature of forgiveness and remembering that many (if not most) of my triggers are not about me at all (Thank you to The Four Agreements.)

But anger is real.  It persists.  It shows up when I am not expecting it.  Triggers are inevitable and not to be toyed with.  I need to recognize and continue to work on these and any new form of external or internal incitation.  Without my awareness and the continual maintenance of my spiritual world I run a very sincere risk of not living my best life.

It’s entirely possible I’ve experienced that in the past and did not enjoy it, therefore I think it wise to not repeat the mistakes of my past (to the best of my ability.)  The most important thing I can bring to this topic, however, is the reminder that I have in my arsenal the best solution for anger in all my situations:

Stop. Smile. Breathe.

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