Sign In Forgot Password

Anger Management

08/25/2017 12:12:41 PM

Aug25

When life throws you a lemon, and you are tempted to throw a fit, there are 2 paths to dealing with it: 1) Emunah-Faith, 2) Emotional Control.

The 'Faith Path' means that you realize that everything is orchestrated by G-d, so it's best to simply raise your hands and ride the wave, with happiness. "This too is for the good."

The 'Emotional Control Path' means that you confront your anger and learn how to master over it. You can ask yourself, "Why am I reacting with anger? What will anger help? Won't I be better off with a different and more constructive emotional response?" By doing the hard work of Emotional Control, you can achieve self-mastery and intenal transformation.

Great Chassidic masters debated about the virtues of each path.

The 'Faith Path' is a simpler path. The 'Emotional Control Path' is more complex. (To be sure, even practicing the 'Faith Path' requires a significant level of mastery.)

Here's an example to better understand the 2 paradigms:

When a baby is upset and cries, and you give them a bottle or a pacifier, they may become soothed and stop crying. But have you resolved their problem? Not exactly. You've just smothered it with something pleasurable.

When an older child is upset and cries, a bottle won't help. Maybe a candy will. But at some point you ought to have a conversation with your child to help them deal with their emotions.

Maturity means that you stop looking for things to smother over your pain, and instead you learn to deal with it. You learn about your personality, how to contextualize the pain, how to approach it proactively instead of reactively, how to navigate yourself through it, and how to grow from it.

Even adults often seek to smother over their pain. Money, gadgets, vacations, a glass of wine. And sometimes these are necessary.

Faith is real. A true path. But living by the 'Faith Path' alone won't allow you to grow and discover who you really can be.

True living will only be achieved when we also learn how to live from within.

Shabbat Shalom!

Wed, December 19 2018 11 Tevet 5779