I was visiting the beach with some friends.
We were having a great time. I have always been passionate & attracted by the charisma of the ocean.
What really fascinates me is the fact that, like each of all of us, every wave comes once only and will never come, yet it comes at its fullest at its best.
Some are HUGE, some are small. Some reach the shore and some don’t. It appears so very different from the outside but as you go deep, really deep inside, subhan ALLAH it’s a different world. I think there is a lesson here.
This has been going on and on since the very beginning and ALLAH knows until when it will continue to happen. I have had a really good time every time I go to the beach.
Just a day before that, I had some serious arguments with someone. I was stressed. On that particular day, I was standing facing the ocean, looking at the waves, soothing my nerves by hearing the sound of sea gulls & waves… feeling the wetness of sand beneath my feet… a feeling of serenity blended with my passion & excitement had taken me over and I saw a light and suddenly he, ‘The Shadow Man’ appeared.
“Wow, I was not expecting you here” I told him
“You need to learn to expect the unexpected” He replied with a chuckle
“Anyway, it’s good to see you. I was thinking of some issues, I want to ask more questions” I said
“I know, and I am here because you are ready for the answers” He replied
I remembered the old Chinese saying, “When the student is ready, teacher will appear”
“Let me guess, today you want to ask about ‘anger’, is that right?” He asked me
“Yes, that’s right BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW?” I was surprised
“Look inside, I live inside you and I know what’s happening inside you” He replied as a matter of factly.
“So what is anger?” I asked
“A way to punish oneself for mistakes that other people made” He replied
“I didn’t get it, how can it be a way to punish self… I mean, when people are angry don’t they harm and hurt others?” I was intrigued by his reply
“Let me explain” he resumed “but first tell me, when do you get angry?”
“Well my most recent one was, just yesterday someone I trusted as a friend… did something which I never expected from a friend… it got me angry” I replied almost instantly
“You know what… when people feel angry, their heart rate, arterial tension and testosterone production increases, and stress hormone decreases, and the left hemisphere of the brain becomes more stimulated. You will notice that while experiencing and expressing anger, it seems people are unable to think. This is because they stop using thinking part of the brain, and operate mainly from the lower part of their brain.” He sounded like my science teacher, but it was good education for me.
“So when I said, it is a way to punish oneself, I was referring to doing all of that in one’s brain” he added
“But I had very valid reasons for being angry. This person that I thought was my friend, did something that was utterly wrong” I insisted
“Yeah sure” he sounded sarcastic; just then, as if by magic, he had a beautiful red rose in his hand. “What is this?” he asked me.
“A beautiful red rose” I replied, just like a young child replies with excitement in class when teacher asks a question and the child is sure that s/he knows the answer.
“How do you know it’s a red rose and not a white tulip? And How do you know, ‘it’s beautiful?’”
“Well I know, what a rose is and I know what red is and I know what beautiful is” I promptly replied
“How?… Did you know all of that when you were born?” He asked as if he had not listened to my reply
“No, of course not, but I learned” I was trying to figure out where he was leading
“You see, YOU LEARNED… what red is, YOU LEARNED what a rose is… YOU LEARNED what beautiful is… YOU LEARNED, YOU LEARNED, YOU LEARNED. And in that process of learning you also learned what is right, what is wrong, what is good, what is bad, what is ugly, didn’t you?”
“Well yes, I guess I did” I murmured
“So did this person, you thought was your friend. People learn different things, and learn to give meaning to life’s experiences, events as good, bad, right, wrong etc. What causes one to get angry is often the unfulfilled expectation that, what you have learned is the same that other have learned too.” He sounded so much like one of my mother as he spoke.
“So you mean, what this person did to me was a misinterpretation on my part?” I inquired
“Well, what made you feel the way you felt was the lack of realization that people are different, they have different values, different beliefs and they generally try to select the best choices they have, in their psyche. They may end up doing or saying things that are different from what you expect because they don’t necessarily share same values and beliefs as yours BUT generally most people are not bad … most of the times. They may do bad or harmful things at times”
“hmmm… It makes sense” I had to admit. “But what’s better, should one express it or hold on to it?”
“Better… from whose perspective and in which situation?” He replied and then there was a long pause. I pondered over what he asked.
“So what should one do with anger that is not expressed? I have read suppressed anger causes mental as well as physical problems. Is that true?” I wanted to know
“There is evidence that the emotion of anger has been found to cause serious health issues including high blood pressure, heart ailments, chronic headaches, digestive problems, exhaustion, and even cancer. I am sure you have heard of abusive relationships, divorces, domestic violence, crime and even wars that happened as a result of this emotion of anger.” He replied like an expert on the subject. And I felt like I am being educated.
While hearing all of this, I felt like vomiting out the anger I had been holding inside me. After all it was bad for my own self and I love my self now… more than ever. I wanted to release it. I wanted to know if there is a way, and if there is what.
I came back from the beach that day feeling relaxed, relieved and educated but I wanted to see him soon, I wanted to know the solution. My next meeting with him was where I found the solution…
To be continued…