“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”
― Mark Twain
Anger has been an emotion that I am able to reasonably control. It doesn’t often affect me or get the better of me. That is not to say it never does, because it certainly does from time to time but more often than not I can suppress it long before it gets the best of me. It generally takes a great deal to get me angry. It has to build up over a great deal of time or be something very personal for me. In the last few years I have gotten much better at realizing that most things in life aren’t worth feeling that strongly about or worth getting angry over. It really solves nothing and just causes more problems than it solves. Anger generally only begets more anger. I can be very pragmatic and cynical at times, but I can also accept that the world and people are the way they are and that is fine. It doesn’t mean I won’t do what I can to change my world when I am able to.
“The best fighter is never angry.”
― Lao Tzu
That said I do have one situation where I at times have little control over myself and that is while playing hockey. I work on it every time I play but when the adrenaline gets up and my heart rate gets up I often can’t stem the anger before it gets the best of me. This is something that I really have to work on, and it is something I do work on every time I play. Some weeks are better than others, and any time I can go through the game without losing my cool I consider it a small victory. My biggest problem here is that when my blood pressure is up I feel compelled to engage people over the most minor of situations. I really have to learn to disengage and walk away whenever someone tries to engage me or push my buttons. I can really react in a seemingly out of control manner. I end up yelling and saying things I wouldn’t put into practice. I may have a lot of bluster but I would never be violent in any way. The funny thing is my anger is like a tornado. It flares up suddenly and just as quickly it dies as long as I have a moment to calm myself. I really can’t harbour anger for any length of time, for which I am thankful. I don’t like when this happens, but at the same time there isn’t much you can do when it does except to work on preventing it from happening in the future.
You make things worse when you flare up at someone who’s angry. Whoever doesn’t flare up at someone who’s angry wins a battle hard to win. The Buddha
In most aspects of my life this doesn’t happen. I can overlook most situations even if they do bother me at that moment. Most people in my life haven’t heard me raise my voice or have ever heard me yell. In contrast to hockey when I get angry in my day to day life I tend to fall silent instead and completely disengage from the situation. Then I find myself a quiet spot to reflect and let go of that anger. That is what I have to be able to do during sports as well. I have to walk away, and that is what I will put into practice. I do think anger has its moments; there are times we have to feel and release it. For the most part though I think it is a waste of my energy. This is energy that can be put towards so many more positive things. It is all energy after all and we can control how that energy flows. It is pretty easy to turn negative energy into positive energy, but it does take some practice and concentration. So this I will continue to work towards.