Friday, November 29, 2013

The Real Reason Why People Upset Us - Anger Management From a Spiritual Perspective

On Facebook and Twitter I often post quotes from various people about topics I'm interested in, or that I think other people would benefit from. Recently on Facebook, somebody sent me the following private message:

"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding about ourselves" - Carl Jung

Chris - I don't understand, can you help please?

After typing almost a complete response, I realized it was long enough to be an article... and so I decided to do exactly that - turn my answer into an article. I hope you enjoy...:)

I hope I can help... but this is a deep understanding that really takes personal exploration to understand. The simple version is: As long as somebody else's words or actions can upset us, then that means our own enjoyment of life is dependent upon other people. Our happiness is never our own, but rather, 'belongs' to the people who upset us.

In order to move past this difficulty, we must choose to become self-aware... even at the most difficult times. Therefore, every time we are upset by somebody else, it would help us to ask ourselves, "Why does this upset me?" And then when we have an answer, again ask "Why does that upset me?"

The intention is to discover the root cause of why that person's behavior upsets us.

For example, if a partner leaves their cups around all the time, we might be upset. But why? Well we say "It's disrespectful." Is it really? Why do we believe it's disrespectful? We might discover that it is what one of our parents did as a child. And then we may remember all the fights our parents had over the exact same issue.

By understanding that, we then see that the real reason we are upset by our current partner leaving the cups out has nothing to do with disrespect, but instead, it is a reminder of all the past arguments from our parents.

That's a *very* brief and limited example... and I hope that you will discover your own answers through this exploration.

Just remember from now on - every time something upsets you - just pause and ask yourself why... because you're usually not upset because of what's happening in the present, but because of something that happened in the past.

Another example: Your partner comes home late. You're upset and say they're disrespectful. But when you feel your body, you notice you feel -scared- so you ask yourself why. What you discover is that somewhere inside you, there is a fear of being abandoned... and when they come home late, it makes you worry they might be leaving you. And maybe you discover that's because as a child you never knew when one of your parents would come home, or perhaps your parents divorced, or perhaps one parent left for a regular routine trip and never came home (died, ran away, etc).

And so you discover that your partner coming home late upsets you not because it's disrespectful, but because you have a fear of being abandoned.

This logic is true of ALL things which upset us.

It happens to varying degrees... some smaller than others. Sometimes it's so minor we won't even notice it, such as us being frustrated that a little child has stepped on our toes again. Or maybe it is a huge issue, one which has come up in a relationship (personal, or professional) many many times and is never resolved.

Whatever it is, if you want to experience more peace in your life, just be like a child again... remember to ask "Why?"

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