Hold Anger in a Tender Way… Like a Mother Holding a Baby

I was in a haze of angry and hurt emotions last night and was attempting to distract myself from it by scrolling endlessly through my blog feeds.  But, as you know, when someone is in that frame of mind words tend to have very little impact.  They almost annoy because your emotional state is reflecting back to you.

It was tiring.  I didn’t want to feel that way.  I wasn’t able to meditate my way through it.  I was wallowing.  It was miserable.  When I reached the apex of that feeling, that moment where you just can’t take it anymore, that little voice I know so well and have come to rely on finally spoke.  Or, more correctly, I finally heard it.  It had been speaking all along.

“Be open for guidance.”

When I can manage just this one simple task, to let go and ask for guidance in any form it wants to manifest, it appears.  It’s not magic.  It’s the way the existence works.  Yin and yang, demand and supply, question and answer.  I stopped trying to read my blog feed and just let it scroll.  I knew I would recognize what I needed when I saw it and no more effort was required than that.

Then my eyes rested on this video posted by labyrintho on Tumblr.  I clicked the play button, took a deep breath, and watched.  What unfolded to me was exactly what I needed to hear.  I have posted the video below and highly recommend its wisdom.  I love Thich Naht Hanh.  He has a way of stating things that penetrate to the center of my heart and I can “hear” the words.

Hold anger in a tender way… “like a mother holding a baby.”

It was such an alien concept to me.  Equating my anger with the tender innocence of a baby was almost ludicrous but in that was the dawning of a new understanding.  I knew in that moment that my anger, my emotions, are simply my creations.  I birth them and I’m responsible for them as a new mother is for her infant.  No one else is responsible for what is triggered inside of me.  Only I am.

So I allowed myself this new image.  I imagined holding my hot seething anger with all the tenderness I felt towards my own children when they were infants.  It fussed for a few moments but then the most wonderful thing happened.  It changed.  It was no longer this solid, seething force.  It had become the soft glow of compassionate love.

That really sat me back on my heels!  Fifty years on this Earth and I have never been able to understand this.  Until now.  I’ve always been a very emotional and sensitive person and my emotions tend to overwhelm me.  And it’s destructive.  Terribly destructive.  But in those few brief moments I watched something that would have had me in extremis for days transform with no more effort than a sigh into something blissful.

I’m laughing as I write this.  Laughing out loud.  I can’t help it.  When confronted with my ignorance and foolishness I simply can’t help it.  It was so simple and so beautiful and the laughter is delicious.

I would highly recommend taking the 9 minutes to watch this video.  The interplay of energies between Ram Dass and Thich Naht Hanh is tangibly calming and the wisdom imparted is invaluable.  I hope you enjoy it.  It transformed me.



7 thoughts on “Hold Anger in a Tender Way… Like a Mother Holding a Baby

    • Hi Jeannette! I’m glad you enjoyed it. The video is amazing. I could listen to these guys even talk about the weather all day long. lol Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  1. This hit home for me as I have struggled this entire week with dealing with anger I couldn’t shake. Thank you for sharing. I too could listen the these guys all day and night and day and night etc. It seems like right when I have the “receive and release” down, somehow I allow an porthole within me let anger seep in and manifest to the point I feel I am going to snap. So again, your timing is perfect as it is most of the time. Thank you. I needed this. Blessings, of light and love always, Sammi

  2. So glad you shared this. I feel like I continually struggle with anger and have been in need of another perspective. Both your insights and the video have been very helpful. Thank you!

    • Anya, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I know it’s turned out to be an amazing find for me; another little gem I’ve added to my pocket. I’ve been using the simple visualization as a brief meditation when I feel those emotions coming on that tend to be destructive for me and it just snuffs them right out. It’s much different than my old way of simply “swallowing” the emotion. That one never worked well because it was never released. It would just compound itself and the results tended to be worse.

      I read a little piece years ago, the source now forgotten, about anger in women. For generations society has taught us that “ladies don’t get angry” or certainly don’t show or express their anger. We’re simply supposed to go through life the graceful little violet, always nurturing, never complaining, etc. This has resulted in a lot of repressed anger. I’m not saying society doesn’t put its share of pressure on men, because it certainly does, but anger has been a woman’s cross to bear. These repressed emotions, as you know, can become physically manifested in our bodily health. What a beautiful way to dissolve these feelings that cause us to suffer!

  3. Holding our anger like a baby…beautiful! This applies also to illnesses and diseases, especially cancer. It doesn’t feel right to me when people talk about “fighting cancer” or “having a battle with cancer”. Like anger, we need to hold every dis-ease with love and compassion. We work with it, not against it. That’s how we transcend it and find the gift beneath the anger or illness. Thanks for this post Jean. And the 9-minute video is surely highly recommended! 🙂

    • Hi Nadine,

      I agree with you and am very happy you shared that insight. Considering disease of the body is thought to be the physical manifestation of emotional/mental dis-ease it makes perfect sense that this approach would be more beneficial to us than a stance of fighting or fear. As a family we faced the fear of cancer when a member was diagnosed, but thankfully she has made a full recovery. I wish I had known this then. I’m finding this unique way of approaching those emotions that overwhelm me to be very beneficial and 100% effective. I find myself using it more and more! Thanks so much for reading and commenting! It’s a valuable perspective!

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