"One can only face in others What one can face in oneself." James Baldwin "Compassion compels us to reach out to all living beings, including our so-called enemies, those people who upset or hurt us. Irrespective of what they do to you, if you remember that all beings like you are only trying to be happy, you will find it much easier to develop compassion towards them." The Dalai Lama "Conflict in relationships occur when people attempt to impose their personal thought system, their personal reality, on others, without an understanding that other people have separate frames of reference." R. Suarez,et al., Sanity, Insanity, and Common Sense, New York: Ballantine, 1987. Anger is an emotion with great destructive potential. It rises hot in our blood and can stir us to unfortunate action. It clouds our vision, cuts us off from the object of our fury, and drives us to do things which we may later regret. It makes us a source of worry to others. Anger makes us think we feel strong, but it is a sign to others of our true weakness. When it is chronic, it shows how little power we have, or how out of touch with our power we are. Anger arises from frustration. Frustration arises from attachment to an impression of how things ought to be. Sometimes anger is appropriate. Sometimes it is dangerous. It is always a luxury which we spend at the expense of our spiritual well being. Emotions come to us unbidden. Sometimes they stay longer than they should. The trick is to be able to let go of them when they've served their purpose. In order to let go of them we need to be able to recognize our emotions as they are forming in our bodies and minds. This takes practice. Regular meditation is one of the best ways to gain this level of awareness. As I become angry what thoughts do I tend to have? What is the relationship of these ideas to truth? How do they relate to my sense of security or insecurity? Do I fool myself in my anger? Are the things I become angry about projections of my own characteristics onto others? Can I become more self aware so that I can own these projected thoughts? Do I hold on to my anger longer than necessary? How can I let go? Who does my anger hurt? Is it me? When I become angry can I pause to ground myself before taking action? What can I do to remember to take it easier in the face of my rage? How can I replace my anger with compassion?