Why Prayers Are Seldom Answered

<b>Why Prayers Are Seldom Answered</b>
Your “prayers not answered” means your “expectations not fulfilled.” The TAO wisdom explains why: your attachments to careers, money, relationships, and success “make” but also “break” you by creating your flawed ego-self that demands your “expectations to be fulfilled.”

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Anger and Depression


Anger

Anger or rage is an ineffective and inefficient way to resolve any issue or make any problem go away. It is a negative emotion that may lead to depression, if it is not properly addressed.

An illustration

Donna Alexander, the creator of the “Anger Room” in Chicago, first thought of the idea as a teenager living in Chicago. Having witnessed much domestic violence and many conflicts at school as a teenager, Donna Alexander finally decided to create a space where anyone can lash out without serious consequences. While at the “Anger Room,” the guests, after paying a fee, are given a safe space to unleash their anger and rage by smashing and destroying objects, such as glasses or even a TV. In addition, the room can also be set up to look like an office or a kitchen, where anger often becomes totally uncontrollable.

Thinking questions

Can you really hold off your anger until after you have checked in at the “Anger Room”?

If you are so accustomed to smashing and destroying many objects at the “Anger Room,” could you still restrain yourself from doing the same when your anger is sudden and unmanageable in the office or the kitchen?
                                                     
The reality

As much as 50 percent of human diseases may be psychosomatic. Therefore, it is not an overstatement that the mind and diseases are interconnected.

Dr. Caroline B. Thomas, M.D., of John Hopkins School of Medicine, discovered that cancer patients often had a prior poor relationship with their parents, attesting to the pivotal role of emotions in the development of cancer. In another study by Dr. Richard B. Shekelle of the University of Texas School of Medicine, it was found that depression patients were not only more cancer prone but also more likely to die of cancer than the other patients. If emotions play a pivotal role in cancer, by the same token, negative emotions may also adversely affect the symptoms or the prognosis of any human disease. Thoughts of anger, despair, discontent, frustration, guilt, or resentment are instrumental in depressing the physiological processes, including the human body’s immune response—a formula for promoting the development of an autoimmune disease.

According to other studies, strong negative emotions, such as anger, can create destructive mental energy that is health damaging. However, it must be pointed out that it is more damaging in not experiencing raging anger, or not wanting to experience it than in actually experiencing it. The former may cause diseases, or trigger a depression.

Conventional wisdom

Conventional wisdom is to use distraction to defuse and dissipate the sudden anger or rage.

Thomas Jefferson famously said, "When angry, count 10, before you speak; if very angry, 100." 

TAO wisdom

According to TAO, the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China, take a deep breath, review the situation, and ask yourself one simple question: what is the original purpose of driving your car—to get to your destination, or to get angry?

Don’t hold your anger in; instead, let it go, by breathing it out. Don’t let it go as pain; instead, let it go as your acceptance. Your acceptance should be viewed not as a sign of your own weakness but as a statement of your own communication to yourself that getting to your destination is much more important than getting angry.

Remember, anger is always present to serve a purpose to release some deeper issues, problems, and internal conflicts that you may be carrying in your own bag and baggage all these years. It is always better to release anger than to turn it around to destroy yourself. Suppressing anger, on the other hand, is also self destructive, as the negative energy redirects itself back into your own body. Anger in itself is a path of destruction. Resolve anger by developing habits that may release internal conflicts in a constructive manner before it can be released as rage.

Remember, the world always reflects your actions. If you lash out in rage, then the world lashes back at you with that same rage causing pain or grief that still has to get resolved. There is no true “release” of anger, except by resolution.

TAO teaches that peace is the true warrior’s path. The sword while an option is never used with anger, or you may have lost from the start. According to Lao Tzu, “The best fighter is never becoming angry.”

Learn to do the following when you become angry:

Take a deep diaphragm breath (See Appendix B), and just feel it.

Just look at your anger in your mind.

Accept that you are now angry, and then slowly release your anger as you breathe it out.

If necessary, use your arm like a sword to sweep away your anger and cut through your feelings of anger, while saying: “I can see my anger: it is as it was.”

Subconsciously, we all exert a great deal of mental energy to hold on to the past, which is no more than what we think happened. In the now, what happened in the past is just a memory, and no longer there; all memories are no longer truths, but at best only guidelines for the future. That is to say, your anger is as it was. Just learn to release your anger over any issue. Anger on its own has no power at all, except the power you give it to make it real to you.

The bottom line: anger is often caused by an inflated ego that one has to be right about an issue; without an ego, nothing can anger or trouble you. Seek only your internal balance and harmony.

“We do not become aggressive when we are confronted.
We do not become angry when we are provoked.
We see neither an enemy nor a competitor,
because we do not seek our own way.

Knowing both our strengths and weaknesses,
we use them to complement one another.
Thus, we find balance and harmony.
Naturally and easily, we follow the Way.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 68)

Just do not let your anger depress you!

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


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