Posted by: Upāsaka | 09/20/2015

Putting Anger Down

Fortunately, it strikes as a rare occurrence that I find myself having to force myself to put down anger and resentment towards someone. Unfortunately, it has now happened and I’m struggling with it in a way that I seldom have. So, what happened?

In short, my son and I were playing with a soccer ball at our local park when he kicked his ball over the fence from the park next door. We went around the corner to find out if we could go back behind the restaurant or have someone else do it when we were totally caught off guard by the aggressive and rude attitude of the chef/owner Roxanne Spruance of the soon-to-be Kingsley restaurant. I don’t know exactly why it went so badly but suffice it to say that my son no longer has his ball as she would not help us to retrieve it.

You see, I posted this review on the restaurants FB page and it has since been removed (they removed the ability to post reviews at all) which is their prerogative but I am still struggling with the need to make this woman suffer in a way that would somehow equal the fear and anxiety she caused my son. Is it skillful? Of course not but it is honestly how I feel. I know that I could continue to leave reviews for her restaurant mentioning how unkind and crass her behavior was towards a child but would that “teach her a lesson?” Somehow I doubt it. And though I have not made a firm decision quite yet I am thinking that I will need to crush the urge to act with a sheer force of will before I lose any more peace of mind…


Responses

  1. Hi Mike,
    A difficult situation indeed. It’s hard enough when someone verbally attacks oneself but when it’s one’s child the negativity gets amplified by our natural desire to protect our family.
    As you know, stewing over the situation is just harming ourselves. Keep in mind that whatever the restaurant owner did, that person is heir to her kamma. Instead of bitterness and resentment, try if you can to extend metta to that person. If you cannot extend metta to that person, don’t forget to practice metta anyway and make you and your family the object of metta. Also, recollect the qualities of the triple gem.
    With metta,
    Ben

    • Ben,

      Thank you a thousand times for this. I’m getting to the place where i cab extends jet metta and forgiveness and own my kamma which helped create the situation. Sukhi hotu!

  2. It truly is difficult when one’s child is involved…especially in a situation that began so innocently. I feel along with you the urge to awaken this woman, to have her reap some consequences for her actions–and that’s the mother bear in me speaking. If I look at the woman from a heart-centered perspective, I imagine she is under a great deal of stress and is living in some kind of hazy dream world to be able to be so unkind to a child. So I second what Ben suggested–metta practice for yourself, your son, and everyone involved. This can be a wonderful lesson in extending compassion to those who on first glance do not “deserve” it. For you to model this kind of forbearance to your son is a great gift to all of us; your son will carry this awareness into his life, and who knows how many countless others he will touch with the kindness you have modeled to him?

    • Thank you Lorien. You simply can’t know how helpful it is to be encouraged by kalyanamittas like yourself. Be well!

      • I’m grateful for your sharing your journey. One, to know I’m not alone in my struggles. Two, to remember that we can all support each other even if we aren’t in the same physical location. Thank you for your openness, honesty, and courage, friend in the dharma.


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