July 10, 2014

A Mindful Approach to Managing Anger & Jealousy.

dark side of the moon


“There is a moon inside every human being. Learn to be companions with it.” ~ Rumi

In finding mindful and effective solutions for anger and jealousy, it’s important to confront these stark emotions head-on with courage and fortitude.

In a mindfulness practice, we first observe what is there. Then we acknowledge it, allow it and let it be. We feel how we are feeling, and accept it from the deepest part of our souls.

Condemning the natural ebb, flow, dying and rebirth of emotions serves little purpose but to suppress and deny what is real. If we reject our shadow, we reject “the dark side of the moon.”  That part of ourselves we do not understand, is the part that makes us “whole.”

There is always a reason for any emotional response, and in time, these reasons unfold. It takes courage to be open to facing the deepest and most vulnerable sides to our psyches—those that lie hidden and bare, neglected and rejected. This takes patience and a deliberate intention to investigate what is there.

Jealousy and anger are volatile and unstable emotions that can strike people like a raging tsunami. The moment one reaches for mindful recognition of what is happening, is the moment these emotions lose their virulence.

On Jealousy

If one observes kids at play, one will see that jealousy occurs naturally as a product of undeveloped thinking.

With maturation, usually the focus of concentration becomes developing one’s higher self, and the achievement of goals. There are always others around with more money, better skin, younger, harder-working, better family, more advantages, (the list is endless) … yet it is our unique ability to shine that sets us apart.

Our individual talent and ability is innate—it comes from our soul. We all have a unique destination, a unique journey, and our talents are unique. This is true for every person – there is nobody else on the planet quite alike.

With a change in perception, and a shift in focus from seeing the “good things others have,”, to appreciating the beauty in others, one finds that one no longer needs to feel jealous. Coming from love, will mean one is able to love others in all of their complexity and that is unconditional.

Jealousy is an expression of the ego. It comes from a lack of love and appreciation for the self and for God, what I would consider, an undeveloped sense of self and one’s place in the world.

If we were to focus on our own contribution to the world, instead of wanting what other people have, it would provide a much healthier foundation for happiness and fulfilment.

What we believe that other people ‘have’ is actually an illusion.

For instance, the people who drive the nicest cars could be the most miserable (and I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with driving a nice car)—one just can never know their challenges or their pain, or even how they got where they are today. Perhaps they had to climb over corpses or work through the night and nearly kill themselves in the process? So is it really true that one would ever want what another has?

Think of a sprinter winning a gold medal at the Olympics, a remarkable feat of speed and agility. It seems very impressive and surely an object of jealousy. Now, consider the years of sacrifice and endless sweat, blood and tears that went into this achievement. If one just looks at the end results, one will miss the big picture.

If they have achieved their dream, good luck to them! It takes nothing away from anyone else to see another achieve. Embrace another’s success and enjoy it as if it were your own. (Then imagine how much more pleasure one can get!) Let others be a source of pleasure and inspiration.

If one knew what others were really going through, perhaps one would feel sympathetic/ compassion for them? I would rather focus on wanting what I have, what and who I am, and working on any areas of perceived insufficiency.

It is far more empowering to build and develop my own dreams, than to lust after other people’s glory.

We are also all a human family. So, like a father might get pleasure from his son’s success, we can also derive pleasure from the achievements of others.

On Anger

Anger is natural and is important for our survival, in balance. It can be life-saving.

It would help to look within and find out what is causing the anger and frustration. I suggest finding a private place in which one can really express one’s feelings.

Shout and scream whatever you feel.

Or get your own boxing equipment and let the anger out.

The anger one experiences needs to be directed in a positive way. I suggest physical activities like boxing and running or wrestling. It will help release these emotions from the body.

Always go to the source. If we keep searching, there is so much to discover about where the anger comes from, and how it is triggered.

It often comes from childhood, at how we were treated or mistreated by family/ school/ etc.

When one works on inner change, both inner and outer worlds change. So when we can resolve our inner world, we find our outer world will change too. Our lives will begin to reflect what we truly desire.

Let desire propel us forward to the outcome we seek.

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Inside anger beats the heart of a goat.

Instead, release the anger and find Joy.

It’s there waiting for you.


Composition with Goat

Image background: Composition with Goat, 1917, Chagall



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Editor: Renée Picard

Images: courtesy of the author


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