Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Adding injury to insult

It was no big deal, in the grand scheme of things, but this guy was really angry. He felt insulted, disrespected and wronged. He mulled over the incident long after it was over. And then his day got worse. He forgot his pen drive at home, which left him without his PowerPoint presentation. He spilled his midmorning coffee on his right shoe, which left him with no coffee and a mucky foot. His mood was so awful that he was unable to enjoy anything that day, including lunch with his best friend from college. And then, he closed the car door on his hand, leaving him with two swollen and bruised fingers. The injury was bad enough that he had to seek first aid and have his hand bandaged to prevent further damage. He added injury to his insult.

Being angry is ok. The problem is when we stay angry. We focus on whatever makes us angry and become unable to see what is in front of us. We become clumsy, forgetful, incoherent, graceless. We also become paralyzed, unable to emotionally move from whatever got us angry in the first place. We aggravate the matter by injuring ourselves physically because our mind is somewhere else. This is all too common.

Today is a good day to make a conscious effort to bring ourselves back to the present moment when we become angry. Acknowledge your anger. Give yourself a moment or two and then release it. Bring yourself to the task at hand. Focus on how your body feels. Breathe. Watch your breath. Feel your breath. Be aware of your limbs and your body. By bringing the mind to the present moment, we are less likely to injure ourselves out of absentmindedness. Being mindful will not only help bring your body and your mind back to harmony, it will open you up to feeling good, connect you to what matters, bring about calm and the stillness of Being, find something to be grateful for, and the opportunity to enjoy and do something positive with your day.

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