- Thoughts for inspired living

November 5, 2007


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 9:22 am

The Patriots beat the Colts over the weekend and we celebrated in our household. I can sympathize with the Colts’ fans. We dealt with those sensations in January when the Patriots let a 21-3 halftime lead slip away and Colts beat them and went on to win the Superbowl.

My mother used a common expression that I’ve heard many times. She said, “Don’t get mad; get even.”

I can only align myself with the wisdom of half the expression – “Don’t get mad.” (see associated Grasshopper Note)

Anger clouds your judgement and rarely works because it gets you locked into a stewing pot inside of your head. The steam coming from that caldron clouds your vision and may cause you to strike out into areas where you cannot see clearly, hurting innocent bystanders and causing yourself irreparable harm.

I always liked the TV show The Incredible Hulk. It was a family event that I would watch with my 3 boys. Aside from Lou Ferrigno’s macho muscles that we all wanted, I was curious why I was attracted to the show. It hit me one day. I had the thought that if someone filmed us when we were angry, we would become angry less often if we got to see our ugliness on film. I thought the same film viewing technique could work with someone who denies they have a problem with alcohol. Show them the film of them being unable to put their words together and it could serve as a stepping stone to sobriety.

Being angry is like being drunk – your personality changes. You have limited access to the life force that is you when you numb your mind with alcohol. The same limitation is true when you are angry. You jam up the limited amount of conscious awareness available to you with your angry thoughts, leaving no space for a calming thought to enter your mind.

The anger I’m addressing here is the flash anger that is an instant response to a scary stimulus. The prescription for keeping this type of anger from getting out of hand is recognition. You can train yourself to recognize anger when it first hits. Just this recognition factor, alone, is often sufficient to put a wedge between the stimulus and the conditioned response, getting you to a clearer frame of mind much quicker.

People who appear angry all the time are really not angry at all. They are sad. The sadness sits below the apparent anger and fuels their angry behavior. This is most often apparent in men. Men are conditioned not to pay attention to sadness. “It’s not manly to be sad” is what our culture teaches us. But sad is what they are. The sooner they employ the recognition that they are experiencing sadness, the sooner they can address the issues causing it. The metamorphosis from angry to calm is lightning quick when sadness is confronted and expressed.

Regarding getting even: It’s kind of like The Grasshopper said, “Revenge is a Sugar High.”

All the best,


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