Recently one of my clients came to session with a lot of anger.
She said he has been trying really hard to be more positive, but noticed she was just “repressing” a lot of her judgments and frustrations about other people. In other words, it’s not that she had stopped feeling negative emotions, she was just expressing it less.
I had to applaud her. Not only was she trying to be more positive, but she also recognized that talking about her judgments and resents actually makes them grow bigger. Have you noticed how focusing on them feeds them just like logs on a fire?
Judgment and anger about others is a super-common issue for us humans. Not everyone wants to learn how to rise above it, but those that do notice how depleted and exhausted these auto-pilot reactions make them. As you probably know, the reactions we have to others is always an opportunity for us to grow. In a weird twist, it’s almost like people are doing things specifically to activate the parts of us that need to develop emotionally and spiritually. On a more cosmic level, it’s like they are sacrificing for us to grow. This is what makes triggering people our “calling” rise up and become more enlightened.
I’m not a practicing Buddhist, but I love many of their teachings and psychology. The Tibetan Buddhist tradition actually instructs all beginning students in a practice called Making Difficulties into a Path. In other words, the teachers intentionally give the students tasks that will trigger their “stuff” so that they can work on it. In Jack Kornfield’s A Path With Heart, he quotes a Tibetan prayer that begins “Grant that I may be given appropriate difficulties and sufferings on this journey so that my heart may be truly awakened and my practice of liberation and universal compassion may be truly fulfilled.”
Now, you may be like:
“Hey, Beth, I’m not really psyched about the idea of wishing and hoping for suffering
so that I can practice having more compassion!”
And I get it- that might seem a little extreme for your taste. No problem. So let’s scratch the actual wishing for annoying colleagues and frustrating relatives. But if you do experience undesired judgment and anger toward someone, like my client, we might as well learn how to enlighten it.
Here’s a great tool I came up with to transcend judgment, anger, and frustration with others. It’s simple, fast, and effective. All you need is a bit of practice.
2-MINUTE TOOL TO TRANSCEND JUDGMENT AND ANGER
- NAME IT: Become the observer of your feelings by naming them as they occur. Make the focus of your attention what is happening within you, instead of about them. For example, when your friend starts to irritate you, take a breath and notice your insides. In your mind, notice your physical sensations and feelings like this “I notice that I am frustrated. I notice that my chest is tightening. I notice that I am thinking of his faults.”
RADICALLY ACCEPT IT: We can’t change what we don’t genuinely accept about ourselves. This is the problem with repression- it isn’t authentic. Tell yourself “I radically accept that I am frustrated, judging, having a hard time. I love and accept myself.” This will prevent you from judging yourself when you judge others, doubling the problem.
ENLIGHTEN IT: It’s time to bring light to the situation by doing one of many things: begin to think of the other’s person’s strengths, pray for them, fill your heart with compassion for them, think of them as they were as a child, send the word “love” to them, fill your heart up with light, or breath 10 deep inhales.
EXPEL IT: Now you can let it go with a deep breath that deflates your chest. Do this by taking in a deep breath and then exhaling forcefully, exhausting your solar plexus. Empty your sternum area entirely of breath and the energy of this issue. Say “I release this.”
Try it!- it’s really simple and it works. Sure you may have to do it many times over- after all, you are building a weak muscle into a strong one. But do this one time and you will feel so much better immediately, releasing the judgment and anger. Do this many times and you will notice that your anger and judgment actually happens less and less and less…..
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Beth Miller is the creator of Modern Intuitive Therapy, combing the very best of psychotherapy, life coaching, energy healing, science, and spirituality. She has a private practice in Sayville, New York and works with clients around the globe. Beth hosts Positive Energy weekly groups and a Sunday Morning Enlightenment series. Her youtube channel and blog are meant to teach and serve, sharing the best tools and skills to trust your soul, master your energy, and live your highest life. Beth’s The Soul Cure For Anxiety Online Therapy Course is a multi-media, 11-week alternative to attending therapy that teaches how to be calm, cool, and connected- no matter what is happening in life. For FREE guided meditations join her at www.bethmillermeditations.com. Join the fun at www.facebook.com/supertherapywithbethmiller !