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.