Anger is such a big topic to blog about. I am not sure that one simple blog could even scratch the surface. However, today I learned, again, that the transformation between happiness to anger and vice versa is very slight. My son, Lotem, who is one minute laughing and saying “I love you,” and the next minute screaming, “MINE, NO!,” is a great mirror. To a two-year old, the face of happy vs. angry is difficult to see and by teaching my son my own soul was also listening carefully. Swami Satchidananda said, “The minute you get angry, look at your face in a mirror and you will understand who anger hurts.” We were trying to show Lotem what his anger looked like (by imitating him) so he could see the mirror image. He immediately stopped his fit and looked at us, like we were crazy! I think this is the trick. Seeing anger.
Below is a wonderful passage that Zen Buddists calls Bag of Nails:
“”Once upon a time there was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he should hammer a nail in the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. But gradually, the number of daily nails dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally the first day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He proudly told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.
“You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out, it won’t matter how many times you say ‘I’m sorry’, the wound is still there.” ”
How often do we transition from happy to angry. And why? Suggestions?