THICH NHAT HANH “Wisdom for Cooling the Flames of Anger”

by | Feb 4, 2022

“Anger causes so much suffering in our personal relationships and in our society. Its effects range from spats with our spouse to wars between nations. Our own anger causes suffering to others, often those we love most, and their anger causes us suffering. Anger and the wounds it causes reverberate throughout life.”

A life of anger is torture

Most friends, colleagues & loved ones might say, “Steve is passionate and sensitive, and maybe a tad emotional at times. In rare moments, in a fight/flight despair and panic state of mind, my anger comes to the surface like a dam overflows.

Anger has been deep in my soul since my very first memories. My heart cries but my soul burns with anger, sadly. My anger comes with a very loud mean scary voice, ugly and hurtful to those around me.

Hurting myself physically, but not others, doesn’t help others either. Being physically abusive to others has been a red line for me. Physical abuse was so prevalent in my home as a child along with terrible emotional abuse, I couldn’t live with hurting another person like I was hurt as a child, not a chance.

We were a family at war with ourselves and each other. We only knew fight/flight as a way of survival in a home sick from a father torn apart by what he experienced during WWII.

My worst nightmare in these later years is getting past a life of deeply hurtful experiences that haunt me day and night with nightmares. The nightmares are all the same pattern of being trapped, scared and lost with no way out. I always wake up, but kicking and screaming or sweating profusely.

My wife is always there to save me, though. I’m so grateful for having her always there to hold me and keep me safe. Love is the only escape from the wounds of anger.

I’ve been fortunate as well to have had close friends and colleagues in my life who have always come to my rescue during times of despair, for they have deep empathy and compassion.

Patience and kindness is a true gift of friendship, indeed. I’ve never done very well around hate anyway. Had too much of that as a youngster.

Anger management, a lifetime work in progress

In all honesty, my soul still hurts with the deepest anger. But my heart sings with love and kindness, especially for those who suffer the most, just like me.

We go forth together as kindred spirits, a work in progress to help each other heal. Without a daily commitment and practice of mindfulness, kindness and love, happiness is an impossible dream.

Steve & Judy Sparks Children and Families in Life After Trauma (CFLAT)

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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