Everyday life is filled with little affronts, but sometimes we find ourselves in an ongoing work or family situation that is so stressful we feel angry much of the time. Even under such conditions, rather than identifying ourselves as an "angry person," we can simply acknowledge the fact that anger is present. Like all states of heart-mind, anger is impermanent: It blazes up as the result of a current situation and is extinguished when conditions change. When anger is not present, we may feel contented and cannot even discern its hiding place. The presence of anger in our mind is important to notice before we speak or act in a wrathful manner. Anger often serves to mask fear, and once we realize this and acknowledge fear honestly, anger frequently goes away quickly. "Righteous anger" can teach us much about how we separate ourselves from others even as it alerts us to injustice.

Whenever anger arises,
may I recognize its
transitory nature
and respond with understanding
rather than reacting with wrath.

Jean Smith in Now! The Art of Being Truly Present