“She should snap out of it!” she retorted angrily at my suggestion that perhaps an apology was required to mend fences with a mutual friend who had taken offense at a joke she had posted on social media deriding this particular friend’s religious beliefs.
Another acquaintance allowed resentment to fester in her heart until she severed all ties with someone, who had been a dear and close friend until then, over a perceived slight.
Anger, resentment, ire, frustration, fury, hostility, enmity, venom, vindictiveness, contention, disputation, malice, and every other synonym we can think of abound in this world at present.
Angry posts on social media are proof of this. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, newspaper Ads, TV news, everywhere we look, people vent their frustration and anger by using these venues every day.
It appears the whole world is angry. We have lost the skill of communicating civilly. We shout, we deride, we mock, we unleash over the slightest offense, and sometimes over an imaginary one, our negativity and ugliness. We react, without thinking, to our false perception in angry outbursts. Others, with malice take advantage of this, and go from one party to the other bringing gossip, lies, and the perennial “he said, she said” to add fuel to the fire, because we have come to enjoy taking sides one against the other, and see the fight go on.
Many are angry, jealous, disrespectful, envious, coveters and followers of what one of my grandmothers used to call the philosophy of “Aqui solo mis chicharrones truenan!” Which literally translated from Spanish reads “Here nothing but my cracklings thunder,” but basically means that we only want our opinion to matter.
We feel entitled to respect, honor, love, esteem, understanding, freedom to choose and live they way we want, and to express our opinions, but we do not necessarily want to grant the same right to others, and that is where contention starts.
“Contention is not of me,” read the Scriptures, “ but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.” 3 Nephi 11:29
And boy, it seems the devil is having a field day right now. Even some of my colleagues in Chinese medicine fall prey to these negative emotions according to what they post on their walls. And this surprises me.
I find it puzzling because it was through my study of Chinese medicine that I came to discover how important our emotions are not only for our psychological wellness but for our physical one as well. Every organ and channel in our bodies is affected by its particular emotion. The spleen and stomach react to worry, as the kidney and the urinary bladder hold on to fear, and so on.
As it turns out, anger is the emotion associated with the liver and the gallbladder. Since the liver is the great detoxifier of our body, and called the General by the ancient Chinese for its function of rallying the troops to present defense against the toxins we encounter along the way, it is easy to understand how its blockage and disharmony may pose a dangerous problem to our health.
I see the results of this on a daily basis with my patients. They range from painful periods, cardiovascular problems, depression, migraines, acid reflux, waking up every night between the hours of 1 to 3 AM, dry eyes, cataracts, floaters, neck pain, muscle cramps to more serious ones according to how long that blockage persists.
So, what are we to do? I cannot control what others do, but I can control how I react to it. “First you think it, then you do it,” is a wise advise given to us to avoid evil. Descartes taught, “I think. Therefore, I exist.”
So then, it appears that all starts with our thoughts. The more I dwell on a real or imaginary offense, the more probable it is that it will fester and grow to the point of consuming me.
Mark Twain is believed to have said, “ Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”
Then, the formula is very simple. We change our thoughts from those of entitlement and pride to those of meekness and forgiveness. We focus on the positive and ignore the negative, because we all have some of each. We also try to develop a sense of humor.
My nephews and nieces can tell you that when I witness petty fights among them, instead of shouting them quiet, and by that allowing myself to feel some frustration, they can expect me to start singing in silly notes something like ‘ the hills are alive with the sound of muuuuuusic.’ Their frustrated shouts of “TIA!” quickly changing to the sound of all of us laughing. Laughter always diffusing the tension.
We also give of ourselves without keeping a scorecard. Because by giving of ourselves already expecting to receive back, only sets us up for disappointment, and resentment. What do we give? We give service, respect, compassion, forgiveness, empathy, time to heal, a shoulder to rest or cry on, support, and love. Personally, I can testify that every time I have given any of these, I have gotten much more of the same in return.
Try it. Those you associate with will appreciate it, and your body will thank you too.
This is just my opinion…