“He conquers who conquers himself” counseled 70 year old Rodriquez the other night as he began his set.
Rodriquez, the singer/song writer who is the subject of the documentary Searching for Sugarman*followed up by reminding his audience to “be gentle with your anger.”
To conquer oneself?
Maybe I would like to reframe that notion to be gentle with oneself and conquer one’s anger by focusing on what matters and why.
It seems obvious that people in conflict are rarely at their best. Just at the time when called upon to make long lasting decisions, emotions can dominate. If we can accept that this indeed occurs,
we can then focus on ways to anticipate and prepare for historical emotional reactions – be it ours or another’s that fuels ours. The goal is to separate highly volatile emotions from the ability to make sound decisions.
There are many things to address, but one is to gain awareness that one can change unilaterally even if the other does not. That search often begins with understanding of what one needs.
Continuing the music theme, in the words of the Rolling Stones:
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime
You just might find
You get what you need.