“What is the greatest power? The greatest power is the Creator. But if you want to know the greatest strength, that is gentleness.” —Leon Shenandoah

The people who make you the angriest can serve as your most influential teachers. These heated exchanges carry great potential for learning and enlightenment, because being easily offended and oversensitive are self-limiting soft spots. These moments test you. You must rise to the occasion and respond with self-respect and dignity, while respecting the others who are involved. This requires taking the time to listen and being empathetic. Always remember that you are in control of your responses, both external and internal.

Living with Certainty requires that you learn to avoid conflict and confrontation by taking a different approach—one that doesn’t hurt others. This takes discipline and restraint, but a significant internal shift takes place when you stop seeing people as being merely human, and begin to see them first as souls.

Making fun of others seems to make some people feel better about their own deficiencies. By finding fault with others, gossiping, and being judgmental, you are being destructive to yourself and others, adding static to your energy vibrations. Remember that you have no idea where others are in their own spiritual journeys, or what it is they need to learn.

Michael Berg, the ordained Rabbi, Kabbalah scholar, and noted spiritual leader, said, “Most of us don’t give much thought to the things we say. We assume that once we’ve said something, it’s over and done with. Spiritually, this is not true. Words are energy and they live on.” Berg maintains that if you’re in a foul mood and just aren’t sure why, you should consider your energy level and karma. Have you done something to harm, hurt, or criticize someone, thereby lowering your own vibrational frequency level? When you don’t apologize or act contritely, this negative energy sticks with you and remains dense and low-vibrating. Anytime you discuss the shortcomings of others, you rouse damaging, negative forces within yourself, so limit your focus to the good. Never say anything behind someone else’s back that you wouldn’t say in front of them.

There is no peace, gratitude, or joy in rage. If you engage in these behaviors—even when feeling provoked—you lower your energy and are not living with certainty. The equation is quite simple: When you hurt others, you hurt yourself and lower your vibrational frequency; when you love others, you love yourself and raise your vibrational frequency.

Responding to Your Anger

Rather than argue with someone, make an effort to be calm and eventoned. Explain your position, without getting caught up in proving you’re right. People who lash out and engage in conflict, or who speak to you with disrespect probably don’t respect themselves. Release the expectation that they will behave differently, and remind yourself that nothing about this person’s viewpoint or existence is needed to validate any aspect of your life. Then step back and lower your emotional level by objectively considering what it is that you’re meant to learn from this challenging encounter. Keep in mind that at the soul-level we are all connected, and the other person is in need of compassion.

It’s easy to get defensive when you feel that you are being unfairly attacked, but it’s lazy to give into anger. Slow down and breathe. Instead of reacting, hold yourself in the moment and experience it. If you can excuse yourself to go sit with stillness, meditate, or practice your Sacred Sevens, by all means, do so. Allow feelings of interconnectivity and empathy to arouse your compassion. If you can, you’ll be able to continue to communicate in a healthy manner.You may also find it remarkably helpful to force yourself to think a kind thought about this person. You’ll immediately notice that this simple act raises your vibrational level, calms you down, and makes you feel better, putting you in a more productive mindset to diffuse the situation.

When you are kind and loving, you naturally meet a more loving environment. When you are stressed and hostile, you meet a stressed and hostile environment. This is karma and applies to everything you put out there into the world. You’ll get more of what you give.