Question: I have difficulty holding my anger, especially when untrue things are said about me. I lost my cool on Dad today. I feel demoralised, even after repenting before my Buddha shrine. Please advise.
Answer: Here are some methods of curbing anger that come to mind…
1. When someone says something untrue about you, anger might be seen as strong denial that it is really true. As such, it is good to be mindful that being angry doesn’t help to clear the air.
2. When someone says something untrue about you, it is good to be mindful that being angry with what said is like being mad over someone saying you have a tail – which is ridiculous. As such, it is even more ridiculous to be worked up over it! In fact, it is worth a laugh, as you clarify that you really don’t have a tail.
3. When we are angry, it does destroy in part, our goodness in the eyes of the person we are angry to – which makes it harder to connect the person to the Dharma, which is the most beneficial gift we can share. As such, it is good to be mindful not to explode in anger even once.
It is good to recall these pointers regularly – to remove any tendency to be angry. It is important to not just repent before the Buddha – but before your Dad too – by apologising for the anger in person. You can however say your words on clarifying his misconceptions remain true. It’s good to speak sincerely and calmly to him on this after apologising, saying honestly that you were upset and hurt, that though you are sorry for the outburst, you hope he understands why it happened. All relationships are based on sincere communication. The more heartfelt the better!