I have discovered in myself that one of the ways that I deal with the unsatisfactoriness of life, is through anger. When things don’t happen the way that I plan, when traffic is thick and I’m late for class or work, when I call my children for the 6th time with no response, when a short task takes hours or any other number of things occur. I have discovered that my first response is anger. I would say that I get “frustrated,” but in reality I get angry. I respond with a short “damn it,” or some other seemingly appropriate expletive. But it isn’t really even that quick response but the lingering effect of the anger, the frustration that life is not as I would like it to be. The funny thing is that I am not sure where I got the idea that life should or would be as I want it.
Life is as it is, unsatisfactoriness is a real part of life, not always but it is part of what we experience. We all age, we all deal with sickness and we will all face death. That is just the truth. I heard it said that happiness is a state of mind, not dependent upon the circumstances of life. So If I am to be happy in life, there must be a way for me to experience not only the fun and exciting times of life, the pleasurable times in life but also to experience loss, sickness and pain.
Anyway, I have discovered about myself that anger is my first response. That is not something I wanted to admit but it is true. I hope that through my practice of mindfulness each day I will develop more and more the ability to live in the present for what it is and when I experience anger to look at it without judgement and be able to see its causes and to let go of the things to which I cling. It would be nice if just recognizing such things were enough in and of itself to bring about a change in the way I respond, but I realize that recognizing this is but the first step. This is something of which I would like to let go, but I think there is some more digging and discovery required.
Well, I think its time to go sit and attempt to practice mindfulness.