“If you have not set up the target it cannot be hit by an arrow.”
This is to say that each time you retaliate with words and actions that hurt, you are strengthening the habit of anger. Then, without a doubt, plenty of arrows will always be coming your way. The choice is yours. The other option is to learn to sit with the restlessness and heat of anger – neither acting it out nor repressing it – you will become tamed and strengthened. Each time you act of the anger or suppress it, you are weakened; you become more and more like a walking target. (Pema Chodron)
We always associate our emotions with thoughts—we’re scared of something, or we’re angry at somebody, or we’re feeling lonely or ashamed or lustful in relationship with either ourselves or somebody else. Our emotions have a lot of mental conversation—and, in my experience, it is often hard to discern between what the thought is and what the emotion is.
So what do you do when you experience strong emotions like anger? Remember that you set up the target up yourself; and only you can take it down. This is when you learn to “sit on a log” – hold your seat and open to the situation with as much courage and as much kindness as possible asking yourself – where is the anger (strong emotion) inside yourself? What does it look like? What does it feel like? What does it smell like? What does it taste like? What does the strong emotion sound like? Who is the author of your anger (strong emotion)?
Wishing you peace and wellbeing as you sit on a log, with courage and kindness.
PS: Remember to hold the ones you love just a little closer and tighter this week (without expectations)
[image description: You only see the torso of a person and two hands. One hand is holding a bow and the other hand is holding an arrow and getting ready to pull the arrow back so the person can shoot the arrow.]