Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Get angry

What do you do with the mad you feel (when you feel so mad you can bite?)
                                         Fred Rogers (Song title)

Anger is good and very necessary to protect the appropriate boundaries of self and others. I would much sooner live with a person who is free to get fully angry, and also free to move beyond that same anger, than with a negative person who is hard-wired with resentments and preexisting judgements. Their anger is so well hidden and denied—even from themselves—that it never comes up for the fresh air of love, conversation, and needed forgiveness
                                         Richard Rohr

what do we do with anger?
more specifically, I guess, what do I do with my anger

for there is no question that there are things which anger me

what do I do with that simmering cauldron of crap
roiling around in my soul
raising my blood pressure
causing me to walk a “second mile” on my walks
(to calm down)
making me judgmental
and harsh

I’ve noticed an interesting thing about my anger
I usually put a face to it
It usually focuses on a person

On Mr. Trump (often)
On foolish people with banners and flags, spreading a virus during a pandemic
On the greedy wealthy, who never have enough

But the reality is, I am angry at a behavior
the real issue is
the lie
the endangerment of others
the oppression of the poor
the suppression of justice

I am angry at the product of those behaviors
People being mislead

And I should be!!!

But this reminds me that the first thing I have to do with my anger
Is separate the behavior from the person

This is not easy
Because some people seem to be evil incarnate
The behavior seems to be innate, and woven into the fabric of their being

But still, I think this was part of the genius of Jesus
he could always separate the person from the behavior
and he could separate the person from all those other adjectives we use
to define others

including black
mentally ill

Jesus saw people
he saw through all the crap
to the heart

and although, I think at times he wept
at what he saw
I think he also saw that vague hint of sacred
that by design
cannot be totally eradicated, in anyone

I find I cannot, sometimes, find that spark
but I think I am called to try, called to try and see
the “created to be” person, hidden in
that person in whom the divine image is so blurred

I also think I am called to try and translate my anger into
Something other than anger

It is OK to be angry
Something are “anger worthy”

But I can’t hold the anger
It will eat me up
I can’t nurture it in my soul
For it will crowd out the Sacred

But I can express it in ways that are

I can translate my anger over the greed of the 1%
Into generosity, and give to worthy causes

I can translate my anger over those protesting in the streets
those manipulated (frankly) by others and their own fear,
into encouragement (not shaming) of others,
helping them to stay safe

I can translate my concern over the agenda of this President
into acts of compassion and kindness
and I can find candidates whose priorities are Godly,
and vote

What I can’t do
is allow my anger
to pull me into the kind of behaviors
that make me angry

This day,
Get angry
Feel it
Own it

And then express it
Not as pure anger
But as transformed anger
As activism
As love

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