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Explorations and Reflections

on awakening the true self 

  • Writer's pictureMick Scott

Boiling With Anger at the Beach

I was walking along the beach…boiling with anger.

My oldest had just thrown a ball at me as hard as he could and it hit me in the face. After I quit the game, sat back down next to my wife, and the kids came over, my wife blamed me for the situation. (At least that’s how it occurred to me in the moment!)

I was fuming. I wanted to yell at everyone, say mean things, and thrown things into the ocean...actions that would have a lasting impact on others and myself.

Yet I didn’t really want to react from that anger.

I also know that shoving emotions down is unhealthy for us emotionally, mentally, AND physically, so I didn’t shove the anger down either.

I walked. I consciously breathed. I spoke to my anger: “You’re okay. You’re welcome here. I’ve got room for you. Take your time. Thank you for looking out for me.”

I told myself to “Feel it out. Be with it. Let it be. Don’t resist it.”

While allowing the anger in these ways - and exploring the feeling of it physically and removing my judgments, desires, and dislikes from the picture - I walked to the boardwalk and filled up my water bottles.

Yet I wasn’t ready to return to the family.

So I sat on a bench and continued being with the anger. That’s when I realized that although I was being a Pro in allowing the anger and giving it room, it wasn’t dissipating.

I then took a deep breath, committed to moving beyond the anger, and began one of the most powerful spiritual practices I've ever come across. It begins with “I’m sorry…"

Within moments of beginning the practice, I saw exactly how I was 100% responsible for the anger that I was dealing with - it wasn’t my family's fault AT ALL.

Yes, they behaved in certain ways that triggered me, but I was the one who got triggered!

I saw that my angry reaction to getting hit in the face by the ball was actually a reaction to my sense of being disrespected, unliked, and unwanted by my son.

I saw that my anger towards my wife’s comment was actually a reaction to feeling abandoned, isolated, and unseen.

I was originally so sure it was their fault I was feeling this way - and it was their responsibility to get me out of this feeling!

It was me the whole time.

You see, I was abdicating responsibility for my emotions to my 15-year-old son and my wife. I was also forfeiting my own freedom to connect authentically and lovingly with my family.

Poof, the anger disappeared.

When I got back to the family, my son kicked off the conversation by apologizing for hitting me with the ball. Because my anger and blame were gone, he had room to share with me why that happened and his own insecure thinking that bubbled up. And I could be there for him and also share myself.

Look, I know this may sound unrealistic, unlikely, and not replicable. It certainly wasn't easy! I really really really really really really wanted to keep blaming them. But once I unlocked the actual source of my anger, which is ALWAYS a vulnerable emotion, the anger was free to dissipate.

I'm grateful for powerful tools, the willingness to practice using them, and for forgiving and generous people in my life.

Much Love. ❤️

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