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Syndicated Columns

Anger is just one facet of varied personality

Posted June 3, 2006

Q. What can spirituality teach me about dealing with my anger? -- A.D., Boca Raton

A. Carl Rogers once said, "The curious paradox is that once I accept myself just as I am, then I can change." Spirituality will teach you to welcome all that you feel ; the good, the bad and the ugly.

By paying attention and recognizing the multi-faceted nature of the personality, you will come to understand that anger is one of many emotions. I am not condoning anger per se; rather, I am encouraging you to acknowledge that your anger is part of you.

By acknowledging the parts of ourselves that we have rejected, we become more integrated, more responsible for our actions and more conscious of those we affect.

The great 13th century Sufi mystic and poet Jalal ud-Din Rumi, whose writings have illuminated the darkness for many, offers us guidance in his classic poem The Guest House:

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.



A joy, a depression, meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.



Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.



He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.



Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

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