Choosing Love over Anger

ECKANKAR, Love, AngerBy Harold Klemp

A woman worked with a person who seemed to take great pleasure in insulting her.  Some people in this world form friendships by making fun of their friends.  It’s a strange thing.

One day this woman went to a restaurant with her coworkers.  The man began to insult the ECKist in a friendly way.  She decided she couldn’t take any more.  Normally she’s a quiet, soft-spoken person who hardly ever shows anger.  But this time she flared up.

“If you couldn’t insult me,” she said to the man, “you wouldn’t be able to think of one thing to say.”  The man was shocked.  She got really angry and kept at him, talking louder and louder until people in the restaurant began looking around to see who was causing such a scene.

After the man and his wife had left, the ECKist stood with her husband and a friend out in the parking lot.  “You were right to defend yourself,” the friend said.  “If he can dish it out, he better be able to take it.”

“You’re a saint to have been able to put up with him all these years,” added the husband. 

As they were talking, the woman’s eyes kept going to a particular license plate on a nearby car.  The license plate was enclosed in a frame and on the bottom of the frame were the words “Love their faults.”

The friend continued, “Maybe this will teach him a lesson.”  And the license-plate frame caught her eye again: Love their faults.

Finally it hit her.  She started laughing.  Her husband and the friend couldn’t understand why she had suddenly gotten over her anger.

“Look at that license-plate frame,” she pointed.  “The ECK is trying to tell us something.”

The whole license-plate frame read: Geologists love their faults.  But she had read just the bottom part of the frame, Love their faults.

The woman knew it had been right to draw the line with this coworker, but she felt she could’ve done it with love instead of anger.  Because when we act with anger, we’re acting from power.  And when we act with love, we allow the other person to understand how we feel.

We let the other person know that he is not necessarily bad, but we do not want him to practice that sort of behavior in the future.  Otherwise he will lose our friendship.  It’s very clean and very unemotional.  It takes the anger out.  It’s spoken with love, the kind of love that is called charity in the Christian Bible.

Excerpted from Stories to Help You See God in Your Life, ECK Parables, Book 4.


48 Responses to Choosing Love over Anger

  1. Irene S says:

    Anger is a perilous passion that hinders our spiritual growth. One has to be very mindful and it really takes practice to find the right balance to react at that crucial moment. I don’t usually stand up for myself much at all, though. Being an introvert, I have extreme patience and most times, I just I don’t know how best to deal with it – I simply turn around and walk away – reason being the people are none other than my own family members. Over the ensuing years, I just take the brunt of it all.
    Having come into ECK, my outlook of life has changed and I approached situations with love and understanding. I focus on the virtues of tolerance and forgiveness, the Spiritual Exercises of ECK do help. I constantly put Mahanta’s gaze in my spiritual eye and move along in a calm manner, knowing that he is 24/7 with me. With love in ECK and May the blessings be.

  2. Ameerat says:

    I have to read this everyday so I never forget. Thank you Z, for this reminder.

  3. Carol Ricks says:

    Thank you, with much gratitude and love. I’ve learned so much with the Inner Master at my side and Eckankar’s spiritual tools and teachings. They serve as guides on the path to Spiritual Freedom in this lifetime. The above example is such a wonderful illustration of how stumbling blocks can be turned into stepping stones by a “Waking Dream”. Yes, we are confronted with challenges (and test) throughout life; this is how we learn and unfold. Most people would not have realized the connection between the license plate and their experience with the angry person. Each moment, we walk on holy ground. It’s really helpful to learn how to keep are eyes, and hearts open.

  4. David C says:

    Finding the right balance between saying nothing or being too forceful takes practice. In one situation where a person was acting in a bullying manner, I was very forceful. We parted on amiable terms. In another situation I gave the person several months to change his antagonizing behaviour without responding to him and when his attitude didn’t change, I was more direct and it was quickly resolved. Some people will respect those who stand up for themselves. We don’t want to add more fuel to the fire but we do want to use enough water pressure to put the fire out or it will continue to smoulder and could flare up again and again.
    Some of us have had to learn to be more assertive than we are used to. It is a delicate balance. If we were angry afterwards, our response was likely too angry in the first place. Cause and effect teach us truth. If in doubt, err on the side of love.

  5. Cherie (Cheri) Greenspring says:

    I have two keys, a red one and a blue one. The blue one reminds me to use calmness, and the red one is for standing up for myself, or it is the heated one I don’t like to use. I’d rather use calmness. I try to remind myself that I can stand up for myself in a calm and composed way. I don’t usually stand up for myself much at all, though. Then I find that my anger comes out harsher, in a whirlwind, in my actions and speech. I do not like this at all. I would much rather act in calmness and love. I have someone at work who bullies me and who reduces my hours a lot or puts me on just when she wants me and it is not convenient for me, yet it is for her. I get angry and do not say anything. Now I am confused because the boss (not her) treats me usually very kind, and yet I want to quit this job and take a painting class and work elsewhere. Yet I wonder if the kinder boss still has something to teach me and if I am blowing off my commitment due to anger. I dreamed about white and red hair on myself, and in my dream symbols I have for myself, I think it is love mixed with anger, and the two do not really mix. It is love over anger. I “saw” red in my hair. I also “saw” the white hair. I didn’t know what was happening. Very symbolic of my confusion about things. I wish I could find some clarity. I do not wish to let the boss down. I just still want the painting class and it doesn’t coincide with my work. It will all come out in the wash, and I hope spiritual exercises and dreams show me the loving thing to do and how to act. The will of the Sugmad be done. May the blessings be!

  6. Afefa says:

    I used to be very angry, now I know better! Anger has a huge impact on your physical body. I remember a long time ago, I was very angry, when I breastfed my 2 month old baby, she was very sick the next day. Anger has changed the quality of my breast milk. It was a HUge revelation to me and from that day on, I try to control my anger. It is very simple and easy for me. EVERY time I am angry, I get SICK for 2 or 3 days so I stop being angry. 😊

    Elske, just remember that your children do NOT belong to you. You were just a channel to bring them on this plane. Just give them love, somehow they will feel it and benefit from it.

  7. Patricia Mannix says:

    I have been making it a habit to memorize, “What the Kal encourages.” It starts in the middle of page 139-Shariyat Ki Sugmad (book one).
    It lists things like, The Kal encourages fault finding, judging others, anger, jealousy, self destruction and so on. This list goes with me in my head and heart. If I forget, I go back and read it again. For me, it helps teach me what, love is and what love is not.
    Thank you Paul Twitchell.
    The constant presence of the Mahanta demonstrates what the highest form of love is.
    Being an Eckist is the breath of life for me.

  8. imomoh gloria says:

    I love you Z. Thank you for the beautiful answer. This is because I have a thing with anger, in the past I flare up at the slightest provocation and regretted it afterwards, then I realised that when I allow anger creep in, it not only sap my emotional energy, it also does my spiritual energy because I would have to fuss with myself or sometimes shed tears before I could let go. But in recent times I have come to an understanding that anger is just another dangerous passion of the mind that hinders our spiritual growth. So when I am faced with a situation that seems upsetting I just ask myself “what would the Master do” and this has been very helpful. May the blessings be.

  9. Charles Kelley says:

    I have to ask: what is a loving way to address this issue? Please answer with a sample anecdote along the lines of “Well, what I would have done was to … ” Please don’t use ideology or cite ECK doctrine or dogma.

    • Larry Magee says:

      I would look for an opportunity when I’m in a more private situation and try to approach with a smile. I’d say something like, “I’ve noticed you’re very observant.You seem to find my personality, and some of my actions worthy of comment. I don’t really think you want to hurt my feelings, but your words often come across as insults to me. I would like having more conversations with you, and I was wondering if we could find more positive ways to talk with eachother.

  10. Caleb says:

    The ECK is always talking. It is left to us to learn to listen, act and observe too. Thank you Mahanta.

  11. Akpobome Ogbon says:

    When you open your heart love will come in and take all the fear, pain and anger away. Focus on the Mahanta, and certainly love will fill your heart.

  12. Vincent Iruegbukpe says:

    at d lower levels of life including animal form, anger is more or less an adaptive tool for deterring potential predators n hence physical survival(fight-anger, flight-fear r triggers for release of adrenaline necessary for survival @dis “primitive life form), but when Soul gets to d stage of being accepted by d Mahanta to b his conscious student, then d opportunity to live in higher spheres/states is offered with different n off course, better tools for survival both here n in d iiner worlds(d virtues). Thus, we r more like toddlers learning how to walk, stumbling but being helped back on our feets by d Mahanta d Living ECK Master whenever we r tripped by anger. He also offers prophylaxis in dis regard. Thank u Wah Z for dis story is a prophylaxis for me.

  13. Ardi says:

    I so enjoy this blog, especially this post on anger. It is so important (and difficult) to remember love when anger flares up. This reminder and the comments of others will help me a lot. Thank you all. Thank you, Z.

  14. Peter Akpokodje says:

    Surrender to the Mahanta, for we have lived many lifetimes. Focus on the virtues of tolerance and forgiveness, the Spiritual Exercises of ECK do help.

  15. Elske Evans says:

    My daughter, the mother of my grandsons, 8 yrs and 19 mths. old, has been directing anger, verbal abuse, catastrophic anything I do with good intentions. She then uses this to keep the grandchildren away from me. She won’t talk with me, only gives curt replies. I have not replied to her in anger but I feel angry. Also, I am very worried for the boys as they are being denied a nurturing relationship with their Grandparents.

    I wish I knew what to do.

    Love in Eck

    • David C says:

      Take the problem into contemplation. Be patient and make your request to the Mahanta. Then let go of the problem but pay attention to what clues you get in your daily life.
      Sometimes parents can feel threatened if there is too much attention put on their children. Make sure you give the parents the same attention. Parents needs just as much love as their children do.

  16. Joyce Millman says:

    Your comments are helpful. Still learning about Anger. Noticed after soul searching that sometimes I didn’t understand what was effecting the other person’s life. Just this week learned of the severe hardships my family has been going thru. I’d been angry at my niece who I dearly love & have hated too because I mistakenly believed she was using my Mama (her Grandma) and we had been at each other’s throat. Yes I felt terrible especially when I just learned she’d been in abusive situation for long time, she just confided that along with severe health problems & her 4 children have also been effected. I thought, if only I’d known this then I would not have been angry at all, just wanted best for her & my Mama. Hindsight is 20/20. Lesson learned was if I had just shown love & patience & placed this problem with the Mahanta with trust & asked for his help sooner things would have worked out better. Since asking for my Eck family to help me along with the Mahanta, ECK, Holy Spirit, I have gained a lot of understanding. One key element here is that I was too proud to ask for help until it was out of control & needed to humble myself. After that the love came into my heart & was able to eliminate this Anger hoping in future to rely more on trust with patience & understanding to give others their “space with respect”. Thank you all.

  17. marcelina McCool says:

    I love the story simply because it shows how to demonstrate the principle of love in action. I am usually very nice overall, but as the woman mentioned in the article, I wait too long to be proactive. I let things bowl down until I can’t take it anymore, and here we are…I am showing my anger to no end.
    I truly think that I need to learn how to be more proactive, and there fore take more responsibility for standing up sooner and smoother. I let things and people go for too long, then, I am angry because I can’t take them anymore, and have a better control of myself or the situation.
    It all boils down to self-responsibility and being proactive. Thanks for letting me know about myself how much I have to learn.

  18. Joyce Millman says:

    Thank you my ECK family for sharing your experiences as I struggle to overcome this Anger. My feelings are really deeply hurt when I get to the point of reacting in Anger instead of Love. Mostly seems like the people (family) you love the most are the ones who hurt me the most. After having major nervous breakdown & suffer depression, I'm not the joy of my name Joy they have always known. Everybody loves you when you're on top of the world but find yourself all alone when you're down. Also am disabled & getting older & my spirit is weak, plus my husband is handicapped. I am in need of Hope. Believe I must be up to certain standards to be accepted. I know the Mahanta, & the ECK will help me just as long as I keep faith. Life is a Journey. May the blesssings be.

  19. Bonnyaudu says:

    I am so glad I opened this article at this time. I was already going down the anger path with a situation at home. Opening the article changed things around. I approached the situation with love.
    I love you Wah Z.

  20. Randhi says:

    Thanks for the always in time advice from the heart.

  21. Geetha Murthy says:

    Sometimes, my anger has worked for me even though not always. But to be tolerant is a better tool, I feel. Strangely enough, we act at the spur of the moment and the result is unpleasantness. There is no end to learning our lessons even with the guidance of the Mahanta. At such times, I have felt that I must be a better chela.

  22. Don Ginn says:

    Anger is one of the five passions of the mind. We’re learning, step by step, how to overcome these passions. That’s one of the reasons we’re here on planet earth. One of the ways that I’ve learned to deal with anger (or any of the five passions) is to start every day out by spiritualizing the consciousness. For me this involves several steps: It includes reading from the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad or another ECK book. This helps purify the consciousness. Also, every morning I practice a spiritual exercise that I’ve learned from the ECK teachings. This helps me build a strong connection with Divine Spirit and helps me to surrender to the Inner Master. Then throughout the day, I practice singing HU or another “charged” word from the ECK teachings, such as SUGMAD or MAHANTA. This shifts me to a higher state of consciousness. Chanting these words produces love, the complete opposite of anger. Having a good program for spiritualizing your consciousness every day can lift one above anger and the rest of the five passions of the mind. Hang in there. We’ll all learning in this spiritual school house, called life.

  23. Vidya Ramdass says:

    I have had to deal with this same problem for a long time. My husband started it and my daughter picked it up until one day in front of my relatives I got the strength to put a stop to it. I had been in Eckankar for a good many years by then, so I got the nerve to tell them to quit it. Recently my granddaughter, in the company of my daughter tried to do the same and I put a stop to it immediately in a loving gentle manner. Then I explained to her that it’s not nice to do that to anyone.

  24. Tahu says:

    Every time I used anger to resolve things it made matters worse.

  25. Ntomchukwu Ukachukwu says:

    This blog just came in handy. A friend was delaying on an appointment and I was getting worked up when I opened this mail. I laughed at myself for nearly spoiling my day for nothing. Though we have our ‘wonderful plans’, divine spirit sees overall and may have to adjust our plans to harmonise with our bigger plan in life – coworkers with life. Thanks Z.

  26. Joyce Millman says:

    This Anger in response to being insulted, disrespected especially by family is a real struggle to overcome, especially when I really am good hearted. Nickname “Joy”. Lot of family drama after death in family & felt I was the target being the oldest. They know which buttons to push. want to give Love, know Anger brings bad results. Problem is how to apply this when feeling attacked. Thank you Mahanta & my ECK family knowing thru Soul, Spirit, will overcome. Recently have found myself listening to the CD of the Mahanta called “Just Keep Trying” & “HU” cd. Thank you all for helping me on my journey. “Joy” May the blessing be.

  27. iminabo r fubara says:

    Anger is my food. I don’t know how best to deal with it. It is very important for me to replace it with love. Thank you Mahanta for your guidance and love at our lowest moment.

    • John Scevola says:

      You might find this short story about anger helpful.

      One day my wife and I took our 10 year old son and his friend to the beach with us. I looked forward to a restful, peaceful, rejuvenating experience lying on the beach listening to the ocean’s waves roll onto shore. When we arrived at the beach I gave a spare blanket to my son and asked him to take it far down the beach away from us so that his friend and he could have fun and not disturb my wife’s and my tranquility.

      As my wife and I began to spread out our blanket on the sand my son and his friend came running by laughing and chasing each other. My son’s friend ran close to our blanket and as I began to shout a warning he kicked a small clump of sand onto it. I exclaimed in anger, “Now look what you’ve done!”

      My son’s 10 year old friend looked down at the little bit of sand on the blanket and said with a theatrically serious expression, “Now, that’s a tragedy!” Everyone looked at me to see what my reaction would be, and then we all broke into laughter. I realized that the ECK (Divine Spirit) had just given me a waking dream experience/lesson in recognizing that most of the things that I got angry about, in the bigger picture (That I am Soul and am eternal. That I am here to learn how to give and receive love.), were not really worth getting out of balance about.

      Over the ensuing years, when someone in our family would get worked up about really nothing, we would all exclaim in chorus, “Now, that’s a tragedy!”

  28. Holly says:

    I worked as a special education life skills teacher for several years. I saw how anger and belittlement devastated the children that I worked with like a blast of acid deforming the beauty of a budding flower. I saw my job more as showing each child their greatness within rather than sharing the concepts of education. When each child saw themselves as a champion and valued part of our community, that no one else could bless the world with their perspective on life they way that they did, as the individual. Then, the scorns of parents, classmates, and other educators did not stick as much but became water off a ducks back, so to speak, as the children remembered they were a gift to life otherwise they would not be here. During my time as a special ed life skills teacher I learned a lot about life from these “special” children who always lived in the now and had a lot to offer the world around them. I found of the rose bud in all of us is best seen when it is blooming, grin.

  29. Leon says:

    This sort of strange behavior, being insulted by those who would otherwise be a close friend or relative, has been part of my life since early childhood. It caused me to treat others that way too, thinking it was pretty cool to run someone down in a friendly way. Well, lessons learned, caused me to run many people away who I would have liked to make close fiends with. It caused many of my relatives to avoid me when it was possible, even to the extent of not being invited to family gatherings. Someone finally put me in my place and I realized what had happened. Thank you Sri Harold for bringing this behavior to people’s attention, I know it will save many heart-breaks in the future of those who heed your wise guidance. May the blessings be!

  30. Helena Keith says:

    We can be assertive, not aggressive, which means we state our rights, opinion, discernment in a courteous manner

  31. Jerry says:

    Anger is a handicap I need to overcome. It is ALWAYS a barrier to clear thinking and the most favorable outcome. Even in case where negative action such as in a fight, or a punishment is needed, removing anger from the equation will create more desirable results. Anger is a cloud or a fog. Clearly I have suffered from it to be so well acquainted with its properties!
    Baraka Bashad.

  32. doublegee says:

    Been a woman in a man’s profession all my life. A minority in many cases. Anger brought me a lot of grief. Now I silently run my actions through this test; “What would love do?”.

  33. Essenam Kevi-Kelensi says:

    Thank you for the storie. Love is more powerfull than anger.

  34. Thaddy says:

    Love is love. Anger is anger. Both teach us. Moderation is the word. Love is all there is

  35. Moses Ezeala says:

    When you sing Hu with love in your heart you will over come anger in everyday life.

  36. chris Azukaeme says:

    Anger Takes, Love Gives.

  37. Mercy olushola Sulu says:

    Thank you Wah Z. We learn everyday. We are in a learning ground.

  38. Enajite Orode says:

    The Master’s writings are always contemplation seeds. Love is always the Best to Choose. I’ll always take Mahanta which implies choosing Love!

  39. Peter Akpokodje says:

    We are all children of God and we are/can be happy. Sometimes we forget. And life always finds a way to bring us home with the much needed lessons. ECK is Life. This Light and Sound of God helps us recognize our higher self, our true self i.e. Soul, so we cannot and do not forget who we truly are as we go about serving life.

  40. inès says:

    Thank you Mahanta for the lesson. Help me to come over anger in everyday life and let me be an instrument of love!

  41. Wangerani says:

    Very true. Anger is anger.

  42. Wilson Akpokodje says:

    Anger is anger. There is no righteous anger.

    • steve scott says:

      Anger puts the focus me, love opens the heart. Anger constricts and narrows our viewpoint, often to one of blame. “It’s not personal” no matter what. I think that’s from the four agreements, not sure of an Eck correlative exactly. “He who has the thought has the experience” I believe is a Buddhist saying.. in other words an insult is a reflection of the origin more than the target. Easier said than done remembering this sometimes, but for an insult to bother you, you have to accept it into yourself, to be open to it in some way, for it to bother you. So, can (a) mind insult soul? Great story, Love their faults, maybe that is a place to start, and then we can learn to love our own too! Great lesson in self edification. There is no righteous anger, especially true towards ourselves . Shameless plug warning! The new Spiritual Exercises for the Shariyat Book One is incredible.. very powerful. Elegant, indexing the S.E. to the Shariyat..brilliant work by Sri Harold

  43. shakuntala says:

    Choosing -love-over-anger is ideal -true – still -anger too has its own place in making the other person think and realize their mistake.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Copyright © 2020 ECKANKAR. All Rights Reserved. This copyright applies to this home page and all other pages of this website. The terms ECKANKAR, ECK, EK, MAHANTA, SOUL TRAVEL, and VAIRAGI, among others, are trademarks of ECKANKAR, PO Box 2000, Chanhassen, MN 55317-2000 USA.