Passion serves. Anger Destroys.

You start off talking calmly and you make a mental note not to get upset. You are listening to every word and trying to respond calmly and all of a sudden something sets you off. The mental note is forgotten. You can feel the heat in your face. The calmness evaporates and tension takes over. The duel is on. You parry and thrust your words hoping to deliver a killing blow. You are judging every little nuance in your speech and your actions. Is it time for a phony laugh? Is this the right moment to look disgusted? You are also judging every little nuance in their speech and action. Do they look like they are winning or losing? Are you convincing them? Suddenly, it is over. You are shaking. You are trying to look and feel like you are not shaking. Your face is flushed. In your thoughts, the instant replay starts immediately. The cheerleading for the points you made and the damning criticism for what you didn’t do or say run side by side. You feel like crap.

This too shall pass but what to do? You can’t just strike this from your life because this is passion. Passion is what allows you to celebrate and enjoy the great things in life but when passion comes to your aid in a conflict it can cause the same over the top response that happens when you feel great. Only this time, the outcome is not joyous.

Driving down the road at seventy miles an hour and you jerk the steering wheel hard to the right. What happens? An accident. Now, driving down the same road at the same speed and you carefully turn the wheel to the right ever so slightly and you go to the right. What’s the difference? CONTROL. In the second scenario you are totally in control of the power of the car and the outcome is predictable. There are no smash ups, no hospital, no car repair, no paperwork, just a flow. Why does this happen? You are taking all the power that is available and using just a bit of it because that is all that is required. You are controlling how you respond. You are limiting the amount of passion/energy that you are displaying.

Anger is no different. Every time you find yourself heading in a direction that has the potential for an upset. Breathe. Consciously drop your shoulders. SLOW DOWN! Don’t be afraid to pause. Pausing is control! Use it. Feel the familiar rise not of anger but of passion. Know it for what it is. Allow it to stay as passion and do not allow it to morph into anger. Breathe deeply. Observe. Know that it is because you are passionate about what you are thinking that the physical changes are taking place. Passion serves. Anger destroys.
(c)2011 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


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