February 20

The best remedy for a
short temper is a long walk.

Jacqueline Schiff


Today's Meditation:

Sometimes I get angry.  It used to be that I thought the best thing to do was express my anger--after all, that was being honest, right?  But as time went on, I started to recognize patterns in other people's responses to me, and they weren't positive.  People would become defensive, they would become angry themselves, and things pretty much never improved because of my desire to be honest with my anger.

And then someone taught me the strength in waiting to express my anger.  The most beautiful result of this new strategy that I learned quickly was that as I waited, the anger would actually diminish.  Instead of expressing my anger immediately, when I waited I found that I wasn't really angry at all.  When I let time go by, the anger would evaporate and I would find myself much more interested in resolving any problems rather than letting people know that I was angry and what made me angry. 

When we can separate ourselves from the things that make us angry, the things that trigger our tempers, then we can allow things to sink in and we can find a sense of balance.  When we separate ourselves from the situations, we find ourselves seeing other people's perspectives, understanding their actions, and feeling more interested in resolution than in being angry. 

A long walk can help us to relax, and from a relaxed perspective, things don't seem nearly as drastic.  It's a great way to pull ourselves out of the immediacy of a situation--without running away from it--and allowing our tempers to calm so that we don't end up doing or saying something really dumb.  I've done enough dumb things in life because of my temper, and I really don't want or need to do any more.  A walk is a much better alternative.

Questions to consider:

Why is it easier to express or anger than it is to go for a walk?

What kinds of things might we see more clearly if we take the time to go for a long walk instead of expressing our anger immediately?

What positive purposes do short tempers serve?  How do they help to improve our relationships?

For further thought:

The greatest remedy for anger is delay.



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