I came home late last night after seeing a beautifully moving theater piece by Suzan-Lori Parks at The Public Theater. Retrieving our mail, I saw a broken glass and a brick on the lobby carpet. Apparently, a group of teens were told to leave the area while smoking. So one of them in anger threw a brick through the window to show ‘them.” It created more work for the porter and super who had to clean up and make immediate repairs on their weekend off. Needless to say the super and porter were nowhere near the incident when it happened.
Too many people of all ages have little or no control of their expression of anger. The honking in the city is out of control. People are emotionally abusive in the workplace. Or we’re ranting on social media. There is a huge uptick of violence throughout the United States, and certain other parts of the world. We are unchecked.
I think we were so excited to leap past the couple of years of the pandemic that we forgot to heal from the losses, the changes, the pain. Now we’re feeling the backlash. So many are acting out because we didn’t do a great job learning and teaching how to care for ourselves when things are tough. And if we’re not attending to our own needs, we’re not in a position to think of what our behavior will do to others.
I’m doing my best to understand that when I’m reactive and harsh something is going on internally. I may not understand it, but I can appreciate that I and those around me are impacted. As Sharon Salzberg, Judson Brewer and others advocate in Loving Kindness mediation, “May I be free from inner and outer harm.” Let’s care for ourselves with kindness and care. Enjoying peace is an active intention.
Self Care Tips
- Though it’s not the season, this short video of David Bowie & Bing Crosby is uplifting. We can use that now, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCpXMy5GalI.
- Try a brief Loving Kindness mediation as practiced with Sharon Salzberg in which you repeat the ideas, “May I be healthy, may I be happy, may I be peaceful and live with ease.” Then, “May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be peaceful and live with ease.”
- When difficult emotions arise and you’re feeling powerful sadness, fear, or anger, rather than blame yourself, others, or try to shut down your feelings, tell yourself you can get through this. Think what will soothe you. Remember these strong feelings come in waves, so it will subside. In short, bring kindness and care in those difficult moments as opposed to acting out.