Tag: happiness

Anger or Happiness? It’s Up To You, but You Can’t Have It Both Ways

Cool the flames of anger with intentions and compassion
Cool the flames of anger with intentions and compassion

Anger or Happiness? It’s Up To You, but You Can’t Have It Both Ways

Barriers to happiness include feelings of disappointment, anger, or unresolved conflict in inter-personal relationships. Sometimes friends, companies, lovers, bosses etc. can behave in ways that are harmful, selfish and draining. When we are hurt, we become angry and resentful. We may think that getting even will make us feel better. The truth is that holding on to Anger will increase suffering. It does not bring justice, restitution or peace. Try to hold the feeling of happiness and anger at the same time. I don’t think it is possible, because they are not compatible. Try letting go of Anger. Realize that it is hurting you.

What Are Your Intentions?

It is said that the happiest people in the world are those with a rich network of close and supportive relationships. We are happy when we feel heard, validated, appreciated and understood by our family and friends. There are many skills that we can learn to help foster loving relationships. One simple and very powerful skill is setting the right intention. We can make it our intention to show appreciation, to validate, or to listen. An intention can help our words to soften, our understanding to deepen, or our true appreciation to be felt by those we love. Intentions can change the dynamics of relationships, even when it is a relationship that has a history with heavy expressions of anger. At first, you may try to change the dynamics of the relationship by simply setting  an intention to remain calm the next time you interact with this person.     

The Antidote of Compassion

Sometimes we know that we should let go of Anger, and we may try. However, our energy of anger may be very strong. Especially if the object of our anger is a person or situation that has hurt us a great deal. I find several techniques to be especially helpful to “cool the flames” of anger. One technique is to try and understand the suffering of the person who is hurting you. Sometimes that can be very easy to see if we only look. We can clearly see their fear or feelings of inadequacy if we can calm our emotions enough to see the other person. Feeling compassion for another person, and understanding their suffering will quite naturally cool our feelings of anger.

with peace and blessings – diane

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Virtue and Vice

Virtue

A practice that is common to all major religions is to act with virtue. In many situations it is easy to recognize the path which develops our virtue. If you are not charged for a product or service that you have received, and do not reveal the omission you are stealing. If you lie to manipulate a situation or person, you have not acted with virtue. Sometimes the path to virtue is quite clear, and most of us could probably agree on what would or would not be a virtuous response.

Moral Dilemmas

Some situations are more complicated and present moral dilemmas. An example may include manipulating a powerful person who you know steals from the poor. Would telling a lie to stop a financial predator be more or less virtuous than attempting to protect the financially vulnerable? I don’t know. I suppose I would have to know the extent of the good or bad consequences which may arise from each of these options. I would have to try and remove any part of ego which may be impacting my decision such as strong emotions, impulses, or memories. In these situations, perhaps if you respond in a manner which brings your closer to your values, you are acting with virtue.

Virtue Is Good For Mental Health

Not only is virtue and integrity a common denominator to most spiritual paths, it is also necessary for our mental health. It is not possible to kill, lie, steal, hurt or harm others and be happy. Buddhist teachings say that “Living a virtuous life makes the heart peaceful”. Non virtuous behaviors and thoughts grow the unhealthy conditions of guilt, shame, anxiety, and hate. Living a life that propagates inner-hell and turmoil has a price. It robs us from living as a human. Protecting our virtue allows us to feel proud, at ease, effective, and joyful. Not only is having reverence for all human life the right thing to do, it provides a payback. Your virtue and happiness.

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