It all depends on how long you keep telling yourself the story that is feeding your anger. Your emotional reaction, your anger, it is a result of your conditioning. By nature, it only lasts a few moments. But if you feed the reaction, through your thoughts, it keeps going. And growing.
What was once an momentary emotion grows into something bigger. A story begins to build. An emotion can become a mood. The mood becomes a temperament. The temperament transforms your personality. Your day/year/life is now “ruined” not because of X occurrence, but because of what you are still telling yourself about X.
It’s the story that’s hurting you.
Oh yes, the emotion may be painful, but if you can experience it fully, in the moment as children do allowing it to pass without a story and without attachment, you can have your experience and be over it in a matter of moments. You can be over it not because you got what you wanted and not because it wasn’t painful, but because you know how to experience your emotions and discipline your thoughts. You know their importance and their place in your life.
While not a simple thing, not needing to create a story to spur your emotions on leaves you free to fully feel them and to thoughtfully express them. Finding yourself unattached to your emotional reactions and the stories they may arise, you allow them to pass, rightfully returning to your default state: happiness. Authentic happiness, which likely isn’t the storybook kind.
photo credit: Robyn Budlender