As a man working on building my own 'Character' I am open to ideas and that can teach me how to become the Man I wish to be. I neglected spiritual opportunities to cleanse my conscience because I always felt that it was something that I could accomplish without ritual. I wasn't thrilled to share shameful secrets with 'morally superior' clergy who I didn't know well enough to trust. I decided to keep an open mind and try something new...
One of the character flaws that I have struggled with over the years has been controlling my explosive temper. Wrath is listed as one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Since I was a kid I have always been more competitive, aggressive, and prone to violence than most of my peers (something I attributed to high testosterone levels). This combination led me to be successful in business, acquiring women, and sports (Everyone loves a Winner). While it can certainly be a good thing, i noticed my nature bred fear and resentment with those closest to me. I would eventually over play my 'hand' and people would disappear from my life.
I knew that I couldn't keep expecting the world to change for me so I decided to get help for myself. My therapy came in many forms, ironically the same source as my previous successes.
I learned that losing my 'cool' in business ended up costing me time and money. If I let my temper get the best of me and took out my aggression on an individual then it destabilized the community by sending the message to others that if they didn't comply with my requests then a similar lambasting awaited them. Nobody enjoys such a tense environment for very long, eventually people left the company.
Women seem to be attracted to the qualities that accompany competitive Men. Typical symptoms of such men tend to be physical fitness, higher societal status, thrill seeking behavior, and confidence (See the Dark Triad). I learned that having these qualities was enough to get my foot in the door with attractive women, but keeping them interested was another story. If I was going to make a good long term partner, I needed to exhibit self restraint when it came to the temptations of other women, living excessively, and my temper.
I didn't like the feeling of being a slave to anything or anyone. Once you give in to temptation it becomes easier each time thereafter. Neural pathways are carved into your brain, and slowly become entrenched into your psyche until you are enslaved by your vice. I needed to practice Self-control.
I sought out competitive boxing as an outlet to channel my aggression in a constructive environment. I discovered quite a bit about myself, such as enjoying the thrill of evading danger while outfoxing your opponent. I learned that frustrating one's opponent was helpful in causing them to make 'angry mistakes' which allowed me to exploit their weaknesses and claim victory. Anger was the enemy!
While training for a fight, I sought spiritual guidance in the form of confession and asked for the ability to remain calm and collected in the face of danger. I remained calm through out the fight and have managed to maintain this blessing in many other areas of my life.
Controlling my temper has always been something that I've wanted to conquer, so what began with a sincere wish in my heart, turned into honest words of confession and supplication, which later became practiced by actions, that are turning into habits, which I'm hoping will become my Character.