How Do I Overcome Anger And Irritation?
Be it anger or irritation, or any other weakness that brings us frustration, following the 4 steps helps us overcome our shortcomings scientifically and systematically.
So what are these four steps?…
Come, let us learn…
1. Right belief – ‘Anger and irritation is definitely wrong.’
So often we have firmly resolved, “I will not anger from now.” And what happens next?…
We see ourselves get angry soon after. Why?
To understand this puzzle, we must know, “does anger happen or are we doing it?”
Since we are searching for ways and means to overcome anger and irritation, it obviously means we do not ‘want’ to get angry. Yet we do ‘happen’ to get angry every now and then.
So, anger that happens today is actually an effect. Effect means a result of our past causes. In the past, say, we have harnessed an opinion such as ‘Oh! it is necessary to become angry, or else people will not behave properly.’ This is the cause that has resulted into us getting angry today.
And while getting angry, we again believe, ‘Anger is correct. Good that I got angry, see how everything got straightened out.’ This charges new causes, very similar to the previous ones, which will produce new effects, very similar to the current ones. This is how our anger, trapped in the vicious cycle of cause and effect – effect and cause, continues to exist life after life.
Now, when our opinion changes and we start believing, ‘This is wrong. I should not anger. Let me make him understand in a calmly manner’, the causes begin to change but the effects that are coming are still from old causes.
The effect of our right belief will show up in future date, and it will be such that ‘we will not have to anger anymore and the understanding class of people will automatically get attracted to us’.
This is the science behind why a layman is not able to convince even a handful of people to accomplish simple things, inspite of his hard yelling and firing efforts; whilst thousands of people willingly surrender before the Living Gnani and remain eager to listen, understand and accept every word that he says, without him having to make even a simple request to people. It is because Gnani has made the choicest of causes in his previous birth, the effects of which are so beautiful to see in this birth!!
Thus, as a first step to overcome anger and irritation, we will harness a strong belief that ‘Anger and irritation is definitely wrong.’
2. Right knowledge – ‘How are Anger and irritation wrong?’
In step 2, we shall gather detailed knowledge of the harmful effects of anger and irritation vis-a-vis the benefits of not getting irritated or angry. An in-depth knowledge of the consequences will help us realize with conviction that how anger and irritation are really wrong and that there is actually no gain but only loss and nothing but loss in anger and irritation.
This is a very important step and our every effort put into this step will go a long way in increasing our awareness and taking us closer to our goal of overcoming anger and irritation.
3. Repentance for your anger and irritation
Harness a deep sincere intent that, “May no one get hurt by me.”
And yet if you happen to get angry or irritated, maintain a true inner intent of ‘This should not happen.’ What this will do is, although anger happened it will not bind you because internally the new cause now turned positive. The force with which the anger or irritation was charged, a corresponding force of whole-hearted intent is required to neutralise that charge.
And daily before going to sleep, have a practice to introspect for around 10 minutes to find out:
• during the day, where all did I get angry and irritated,
• on whom did I get angry and irritated, and
• for what reason did I get angry or irritated.
Anger hurts the other person. So, do a heartily repentance atleast 2 to 3 times for each instance, where you caused hurt to someone by your anger and irritation. Repentance indicates the presence of awareness of one’s own mistakes.
The repentance is to be done with one thing very clear in our mind i.e. ‘The other person is not at all at fault. The effects that I am experiencing are solely due to my own causes, and not due to any other person.’ Only then the exact repentance is said to have taken place. If you feel that the fault is partly of the other person and partly mine, you will not be able to clear your mistake completely.
Ask for forgiveness from the Soul within the person whom you’ve hurt by our anger, and vow never to get angry again. When our positive intent reaches the person through this prayer, he does not harbour a grudge against us, our relationship strengthens, and we are able to see and understand things clearly for we have stopped seeing him as being at fault now.
Follow this practice every day, and slowly you will see your anger starts dissolving and your behaviour with the same people starts normalising, because the positive vibration of repentance dissolves your binding and the other person’s hurt too. We will not have to face any bad consequences in our next life too.
4. Refrain from protecting your mistake
People try to refrain from getting angry. But as we know now that anger is an effect that cannot be stopped. One may be able to suppress the external anger, but the internal anger in the form of restlessness remains within, until resolved scientifically through Gnan (right knowledge).
However, hereon what we can and must refrain from is: protecting or defending our anger. Because when we defend our anger, we are actually feeding it and making it even stronger. This applies to all our mistakes. So, never ever try to hide, protect or support any of your mistakes; instead try to be free of these mistakes.
This is easier said than done!
So let us understand how to practice it, through an example!
Say you get angry some day and you are not liking that anger at all. Just then, your friend comes by and asks you, ‘Why did you get angry?’ And you immediately retort, “Oh, it was necessary. That person deserved it all. / The occasion called for it. What can I do?”
This support for your anger made it stronger. You can instead tell him, “Yes, it was wrong on my part to get angry. It occurred because of my weakness. I will take care next time.” This way, you refrain from protecting your anger.
If you were to starve your anger for three years, it will run away forever, for sure. So, why wait?
So, these are the 4 steps, when followed precisely, will slowly get us out of our shortcomings.
However, following these steps becomes much easier when you attain Self-Realization (knowledge of one own Self).
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