1. What one thing did you do better today?
I looked at anger from a new perspective. An emotion which I perceived as forbidden, bad for a long time, maybe in a way I still do. They say wounds from past pains are only toxic if they remain invisible. Once we expose them, acknowledged them, and call them for what they are, they gradually cease to have power over us. So does anger, I believe, arising from those pains and wounds.
2. Has doing so made you or someone else feel better?
Oh, it is still a sensitive topic so maybe just my future self feels better.
3. Has it brought any new realisations?
I want to share a story that inspired me to take a look at anger. It is from a book Everyday Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck: “Suppose we are out on a lake and it’s a bit foggy – not too foggy, but a bit foggy- and we’re rowing along in our little boat having a good time. And then, all of a sudden, coming out of the fog, there’s this other rowboat and it’s heading right at us. And… crash! Well, for a second we’re really angry – what is that fool doing? I just painted my boat! And here he comes – crash! – right into it. And then suddenly we notice that the rowboat is empty. What happens to our anger? Well, the anger collapses … I’ll just have to paint my boat again, that’s all. But if that rowboat that hit ours had another person in it how would we react? You know what would happen! Now our encounters with life, with other people, with events are like being bumped by an empty rowboat. But we don’t experience life that way. We experience it as though there are people in that other rowboat and we’re really getting clobbered by them.”
Today’s realisation therefore: the boat is always empty. Save this illustration to remind yourself of it when anger comes. The sun at the horizon – do you see it as sunset or sunrise?