The benefits of anger

Anger is generally viewed as harmful, damaging, and destructive. But I’d like to take another perspective- anger is motivating, energizing, and your mind telling you to take action because things are not right.

I’ve struggled with managing anger my entire life. At times it has gotten me in some fairly serious trouble. However, it has also helped me tackle problems, get stuff done, and stick up for myself and others when needed.

Self-mastery is the key. It is difficult to master your emotions, especially one like anger that at times feels like a train rolling downhill. By applying mindfulness and the principle of detachment, there is an opportunity to redirect that anger towards useful purposes.

It’s not easy and it won’t happen overnight, but slowing down and recognizing the source of that anger may help you channel it towards something positive. Something like hitting the gym or signing up for a boxing class.

Either way, don’t beat yourself up for being angry. There is plenty to be angry about. Just don’t let it cause you self-destruction.

You must forgive your parents

Obviously there are some exceptions, but generally speaking this is vital to maturing and truly becoming an adult. As you get older, you may eventually realize that there is no grownup handbook and that even with their flaws, your parents did the best they could. Usually they just learned from and internalized the failings of their parents.

Once you do forgive, I believe you’ll feel a sense of relief and freedom. This is wisdom.

Vengeance is a lazy form of grief

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This African proverb is among the most powerful words I’ve ever read. When you think about it, you know it’s true. We often wish harm to those who hurt us, but usually it is because we’ve been deeply hurt by them.

Is it laziness, though? It takes work to understand your anger and hurt. It takes real self-exploration to grasp the source of pain.

But it’s worth it. And if it can help you heal and reach a place of forgiveness, then it may help you overcome much more.

Choosing to Be an Atheist Is Like Choosing to Be an Orphan

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Being an orphan is a tragic thing. I know, I was raised by one. It’s even worse when you try to go through life without moral and ethical guidance. I tried. For 40 years, I thought I was a good person and that being so was enough to get by in life. It’s not. Because you need the other people in your life to adhere to a moral code, too.

There is a wisdom to religion that Sam Harris and the New Atheists don’t grasp. It is the wisdom of how to live day in and day out, week in and week out. Live with gratitude and work towards a cause much greater than yourself. There is nothing wrong with accepting some help from a father or the Father.

Some of the Most Beautiful Words I’ve Heard

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Come from Jordan Peterson: “Wherever we go, and I mean that, wherever we go… If I go down the street or if I’m in an airport or if I’m in a cafe or if I’m in a movie theater… If I’m in a mechanics’ shop, some person comes up to me every 10 minutes, and they say, ‘I’ve been listening to your lectures and they’ve helped me. And my life is getting better.’… Can you imagine a better way to be greeted when you go out in the world?” -from a recent talk with Dennis Prager.

Watching @jordanbpeterson ‘s talks helped me decide to become a Catholic.

5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness Without Even Trying

I recently started keeping score of most Washington Nationals’ games. 33 down, 129 to go.

Many people are intimidated by the idea of practicing mindfulness meditation. They often think that there is absolutely no way they can do it. Believe me, I get it. Even after 10+ years of meditating semi-regularly, I still struggle with my concentration every time. So, don’t start by sitting down for a 30-minute meditation from an app. Start with being mindful, or present, or aware, in your day to day life. Below are a few other moments and activities to help you on your way to becoming a calm Buddha.

  1. Take a moment in the morning and evening to think positive thoughts for the day (aka prayer) or reflect on the day behind you.
  2. Try keeping score of a baseball game. This is a great way to slow life down and just focus on one thing you enjoy.
  3. Go fishing. Fishing can be one of the most calming, meditative acts a person can do.
  4. Swim laps. You don’t have to swim a mile or two. A 1/4 or 1/3-mile swim, alternating the strokes so that your back and shoulders get stretched, will make a tremendous difference in your life.
  5. Pause before a meal. Take a moment to think grateful thoughts about your life and focus on your fortune, hopefully with others.