I read these words recently and jotted them down in my iPhone notes section to remember and use as a mantra.
“Replace Anger with Loving Kindness.”
When we are running late for camp and my daughter can’t find her shoes, then wants to go back upstairs to find a specific stuffed animal, my son has the front door open causing flies buzzing inside the house and the dog is barking my instinct is to get frustrated and mad.
Instead I said to myself, “Replace Anger with Loving Kindness.”
Next, I closed the door told my son to wait for me in the car (with the door open) and headed back upstairs to sift through my daughter’s Beanie Boos and find Fetch. We chat about the different big eyed animals, pinpoint a pair of shoes in the closet that do not fit and can be donated, find shoes that do fit, spend a minute petting and loving on our cute and old dog and head out the door.
* * *
My son is now a tween and while out for dinner decided he wasn’t going to eat ever again and he might die from never eating again after he just ordered a $15 plate of chips and guacamole. He is being unnecessarily dramatic, I am hungry, tired and annoyed by his irrational thinking.
“Replace Anger with Loving Kindness.” I remind myself as the anger creeps in.
After a deep breath, I explained to him how important it is to eat for energy and it would never be possible for him to die from not eating, as we would take him to the hospital for nourishment. I surprisingly also mentioned the cliche “I was your age once and I understand how it feels in the moment.”
Luckily, we were both shoving chips in our mouths minutes later.
* * *
Obviously, I am far from perfect and do get angry, probably too often. Yes, I am continuing to notice times when this mantra is useful such as traffic, long slow lines and dealing with unhelpful and inconsiderate people.
Will you try replacing anger with loving kindness this week? Please let me know how it goes.
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