Question: “I just started studying Buddhism about a year ago. I’m a middle aged man and I’ve been through a lot this past year. My problem is letting go of my anger and resentment. It seems the more I strive to overcome it, the more powerful it becomes. How can I break this cycle and allow more peaceful energy into my life?”
Our anger is like a child. The more we tell them to settle down and be quiet, the wilder and hyped up they get. Likewise, the more we try to suppress and “control” our anger, the harder it is to actually overcome it, because we end up just getting angrier because nothing is “working.”
So instead of trying to go at our anger with more anger and control, we need to approach it with compassion, understanding and contemplation. It’s important to sit down in meditation and meditate on self-compassion so we don’t get angry at ourselves when trying to overcome anger.
When we contemplate and approach our anger, we don’t try to push it out, we do the opposite. We contemplate on why we’re angry and then try to eliminate the causes that create that anger so that it doesn’t always return when those causes arise again. If all we’re doing is trying to get rid of getting angry instead of what’s getting us angry, then the anger will never really go away.
So continue meditating. Look past the superficial reasons of why we’re angry. Dig deeper and deeper until you can find the core reason and causes that create the anger in the first place. Then work on those causes, either by eliminating them or working with them so that they don’t always have to cause anger.
Smile and be well!