Let go of hostility & live free

Let go of hostility & live free

ANGER MANAGEMENT

Let go of hostility & live free
Your sole purpose in life is to look for ways to feel good. Because when you feel good, you are simultaneously expressing and experiencing the pure and positive energy of the Divine,” say the masters. When you feel good, your mind and body are in perfect health. That’s why, it is important to nurse good thoughts, not grudges.

Grudges hurt the offended far more than the offenders, say scientific studies. A constant canker in the mind is an emotional tumour — it not only warps your nature, it also burdens and bruises your heart. Why live battered and broken inside when you can live in glorious wholeness and health?

Turning hostile

“Our research shows that simply thinking about one’s offender in a grudging way can have immediate physical ramifications,” says Charlotte Witvliet, PhD, associate professor of psychology, Hope College, Michigan. “Short, fleeting thoughts are unlikely to have a long-term health impact, but we know that hostility is a potent risk factor for heart disease. When we have deep wounds, hostility becomes an ingrained personality trait, and then it can be health eroding.”

How does one get rid of hostility? One way to do so is by understanding that softening our stance is not about letting offenders off easy, but about freeing the offended from the harmful effects of simmering vengefulness. If we constantly grit our teeth until they grind against each other, if we constantly make tight fists of our hands until our knuckles are taut and white, we continually impose pain on ourselves. So, getting rid of white-knuckled, hostile feelings is also about going easy on ourselves.

The next two steps are designed to help you deal with hostility...

Read Rumi. The great Persian poet, professor, philosopher and sage writes: “You suppose you are the trouble/But you are the cure/You suppose you are the lock on the door/But you are the key that opens it.”

When you realise that you alone are the cure and the key, you can open the door to a bigger world that is bursting with the brilliant colours of courage and resilience. When we see someone smiling cheerfully with a conviction that one day his wife will be out of her wheelchair and his young daughter out of the cancer ward, any hostile barriers that have been created will lose all meaning and crumble to the dust in an instant. Let your mind and spirit expand in this brave new world that you are privileged to witness.

Do something kind for another as a gesture of gratitude. Helpfulness vanquishes helpless rage. Even if the hostility does not cease entirely, the mind finds a broader, fuller world to inhabit that is far from the brooding little cage it was trapped in. This steadily weakens your hostile attitude.

You’ll experience a deep longing that needs to be put into action. There will be an urge to give and give… so give in to it. Give your attention to somebody who needs you to listen. Show your affection with a look, a touch or a hug. Spread laughter by sharing jokes and cartoons. Give someone the dignity of solitude when you sense somebody wants to be left alone. Send a thank you note in writing. Give a sincere compliment.

And soon, one day, you’ll find yourself feeling light and free from hatred. What you’ve done is to forgive those who’ve hurt you. Give it your best. Forgive. It’s divine. It’s cool too.

(The authors are teachers of the Fitness for Life programme.)
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