Tug O War – Playing Games With Anger

“If you are losing a tug-of-war with a tiger, give him the rope before he gets to your arm. You can always buy a new rope.” Gunther, Max

“The best fighter is never angry.” ― Lao Tzu

I grabbed the knotted cloth with my hand, hung on tight and shook it in front on my ever willing mutt, Thor. He responded by latching on and shaking it so vigorously I nearly lost hold. I teased him for a moment, and then used him for a floor mop because despite my best efforts, he wouldn’t let go. This made me laugh and smile, and even video tape him for a YouTube post. Millions have done the same thing, making the rage of the hunt and nurture of the kill a funny moment, inspiring it and laughing only because they controlled that instinct. That’s how it is with my anger.

Those who are comfortable with it, shake the rope, knowing they’re in control. It took me a long time, with my temper flaring at every waved knotted circumstance, to understand this response. What I did in these conflicts was reflect the built up anger in me. After many years of testing and fighting every challenge, it is enough. I quit. I’m tired of my anger being used against me. I’m holding back my anger, and resisting the challenges, leaving the players scratching their head, “Your not behaving like you should, why aren’t you pulling back?” Not every fight needs fighting and not every challenge needs answering. So, that little rope your waving, the rope of conflict, jealousy, anger, or whatever it is you choose to challenge me with, keep it, I’m not participating in your game. I’m aware that to control myself is my biggest challenge and to live in peace, following peace, is the biggest advantage.

Gentleness of Strength

“Silk is a fine, delicate, soft, illuminating, beautiful substance. But you can never rip it! If a man takes this tender silk and attempts to tear it, and cannot tear it, is he in his right mind to say “This silk is fake! I thought it was soft, I thought it was delicate, but look, I cannot even tear it” ? Surely, this man is not in his right mind! The silk is not fake! This silk is 100% real. It’s the man who is stupid!” ― C. JoyBell C.

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.” – Bruce Lee
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 Gentle, striving to be easy with the hardness life brings. Being gentle when the attack is not against me is easy, but let my lover betray me, let a random act of violence occur, let my child be molested in spite of my best efforts, then it proves supremely difficult to resist hardness. When gentleness is discerned by the predators of man and beast, it signifies vulnerability, a sign that brings pursuit and attack. There is however, a side of gentleness that is contrary to weakness. Warriors learned long ago that deftness, a soft touch, is as deadly as brute force. The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be. Gentleness learned is self control gained. To deny the victim demeanor and become a survivor, a warrior, requires a necessary application of gentle traits. Hold the knife easy. Squeeze the trigger softly. Bend not break, as a willow in the breeze. Bruce Lee taught the principle: be like water. Water is soft, yielding, and enjoyable to be around, but still maintains a fearful power. Gentleness is not weakness, it is power under perfect control. I’m this gentle soul, the water that gives way, and still I possess a force to overcome the most difficult opponent, whether it be in the form of man or circumstance.

The Art of Waiting – Sun Tzu applications

“Patience is power.
Patience is not an absence of action;
rather it is “timing”
it waits on the right time to act,
for the right principles
and in the right way.”
Fulton J. Sheen
 

Wisdom is better than strength. This sounds right, but to apply the principle is a complex matter. In layman’s terms, it requires me to use knowledge and timing rather than brute strength or force. Patience is a universal partner to this wisdom that excels strength. Patience involves waiting, waiting involves self control, a mastery of my emotions and will. Sun Tzu said, “ The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.” This waiting involves observation of self, as well as your problem or enemy. The purpose of this waiting is to be, “Disciplined and calm, to await the appearance of disorder and hubbub amongst the enemy:–this is the art of retaining self-possession.”

Another fine friend of wisdom, quietness, gives us further benefits. In most conflicts, a demonstration of strength, provoked by bravado and pride, is shown by an outpouring of threats and insults. These are made in order to conceal intentions, threaten peace, and incite a reaction. In direct contrast, Sun Tzu enlightens us with his application of a principle of quietness, hence, “In making tactical dispositions, the highest pitch you can attain is to conceal them; conceal your dispositions, and you will be safe from the prying of the subtlest spies, from the machinations of the wisest brains.”