Notes on talk on Anger, rage and resentment (10/26/12)
Posted by markdohle , 26 October 2012 · 247 views
Talk on Anger, rage and resentment (10/26/12)
We pick up things in our lives. Some of them are life giving, healing and helpful for us as we make our journey. Other events happen to us that weigh us down, burden us and pick at our souls like a bee trapped in our ear. A constant buzz which drains and further wounds our souls and unsettles our life and not only for us, but also for those who live and interact with us. Who can get in our way, when we are out of sorts and need someone to share our pain, anger and rage with. The irrational can be a strong force in our lives and the deeper the wound is buried the less we feel the harm that it does not only to our own souls, but to those around us as well. There are some who do not know that they are filled with anger, rage and resentment, but everyone around them knows. What we are unaware of is seen by others as something obvious. When we have some insight into what is going on the less others are affected, although the inner suffering is greater for all of that. The lacking of self knowledge, and the understanding which comes from it, both have a price. Self knowledge leads to inner conflict and fragmentation, deeper guilt and turmoil when venting is given into. Lack of self understanding leads to scape-goating others, which for a short time lessens inner pain. We can burden others with our problems and send them into the desert carrying our pain and wounds; yet to no avail. Relationships suffer and fear and sorrow is what is often under an angry person’s exterior; even if buried deep. Sorrow can be a deep ocean that for many can be a fearful reality to face.
Reactions take no thought, nor inner conflict. Lashing out is mindless, though deeply emotional and fearful. The more automatic our reactions the more harm done to those around us whom we love, and they can be driven away. Lack of trust is like a seed that grows. A protective force in our lives that only imprisons us deeper in our inner sanctuary. Fear is a hard task master. Unregulated anger seeks release, yet the only true release comes from inner healing. A slow process for many but a journey that is necessary, if inner balance is to be achieved and for trust to once again take root in ones life… what is the key? Each of us is the key, we hold what is necessary to unlock the door and for healing to begin.
As a Christian, I will say that the first step is to live out what Jesus says is the first commandment: “To love the Lord your God with you whole heart, mind and soul…and the second like the first, to love your neighbor as yourself”. This saying has more often than not become a cliché, something spouted out as if it is something easy, the pious thing to do…all we need do is to make an act of the will. Trouble is, willfulness runs out, we can’t just will ourselves to not be angry, resentful or filled with rage. We are called to love of self, to go within and not to flinch at what we see, to embrace those parts of us that cause us the most pain and shame, to accept and not to try to force under. How is this possible? For the Christian, once the love of God in all of its immensity is understood, the realization comes that no matter what inner room we enter, no matter what we experience, when we enter that space and the light comes on, we see that Jesus has been there all along. Filled with compassion, love and yes deep empathy for all of us; for to know all is to forgive all. For the Word did become flesh and dwelt among us.
All is seen, all is known; we are all naked before God, nothing hidden. All that has happen to us, all that we have done to our shame and horror, all is seen, understood, forgiven and healing is possible. This healing of the cycle of violence, in whatever form can start with each one of us here today. Easy, well no, for Jesus is calling all of us to a new life, a death to the old. So day by day, we may experience the inner struggle, the pain, the violent images etc. yet now we can see that we are not alone in our inner world. Jesus is there, seeing all, knowing all and loving all. We are called to stop fighting ourselves and others and to accept with compassion our selves and by doing that we understand others more deeply and can be led to forgiveness and understanding of those we come in contact with.
The death to self is a journey into something bigger, freer and more loving than we can conceive of. We need not be driven by “should’” or “should not’s”, we are free to allow Christ love ever deeper into our hearts, no matter what we see or do. We can’t truly love others, have compassion or empathy for them, and until we allow God’s love to bring us to that point about ourselves. We then stop becoming victims and the need to scapegoat others.
The above is of course about my own struggle, not about anyone here in this room. Yet my humanity allows me to perhaps understand a little of what the rest of you go through here. I doubt you would be here if your struggle was not intense. Have I arrived you may ask? Well, I am still on the way and everyday is a challenge. Yet healing is also present and as the years fly by, inner peace deepens and my love of myself also matures. Trust and fear can’t live together; one or the other must go in the end. Each time we make a choice to trust, no matter what our inner state is, the deeper our freedom. The harder the choice to make an act of trust in God’s loves for us, the deeper the healing goes. We need not fear our inner voices, they are just trying to get our attention, the images are not commands, but pleas to listen. Healing comes by not rejecting these aspects of ourselves, but simply bringing them to Christ Jesus for inner healing. Love is the balm that heals the wounds that we have received as well as those whom we have hurt ourselves.