We act out because, ironically, we think it will bring us some relief. We equate it with happiness. Often there is some relief, for the moment. When you have an addiction and you fulfill that addiction, there is a moment in which you feel some relief. Then the nightmare gets worse. So it is with aggression. When you get to tell someone off, you might feel pretty good for a while, but somehow the sense of righteous indignation and hatred grows, and it hurts you. It’s as if you pick up hot coals with your bare hands and throw them at your enemy. If the coals happen to hit him, he will be hurt. But in the meantime, you are guaranteed to be burned.
from the book Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
Read a random quote or see all quotes by Pema Chödron.
Further quotes from the book Start Where You Are:
- The happiness we seek is already here
- Self-liberate even the antidote
- Moving away from comfort and security
- Bottomless heart
- Communication without agenda
- Compassion along the path
- Underneath there’s something extremely soft
- Teachings 24/7
- Where Do Thoughts Come From
- Learning from everything
- Gloriousness and wretchedness