Making peace with anger (when your house is on fire)
In his beautiful book How to Fight, Thich Nhat Hanh compares fighting anger with anger is “like someone whose house is on fire running after the person who has set fire to the house instead of going home to put out the flames.” When you focus your attention on strong emotions like anger and frustration, soon your whole “house” is on fire.
Take a pause.
Take a look.
Do you understand the root of your frustration?
Is it a situation? Another person?
When you meet anger with anger, there are two victims. When you meet frustration with frustration, you become “victim number two.”
What to do?
Take a deep breath.
Acknowledge that you are suffering. You can even say to yourself, “I am really suffering.” When you do this, you bring your emotions under your control. Use this pause to offer yourself compassion.
You are just one person, but when you make peace within yourself, you are stronger than any force in the universe.
When you put out the flames, you are free.