Dealing with an anger towards the “church”…
Joy is not something handed to you; joy is something you have to fight for on a daily basis.
It’s waking up every single day with a purpose, a vision, and a mission to defeat and fight against the forces of nature that want to come and take away our joy.
And, to be fair, food for deeper thought, I don’t believe the universe has a consciousness; so, it’s not intentional destruction so much as it’s this unfortunate existence of entropy.
Entropy: a lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.
I’ve been less angry lately. And, honestly, I’d even forgotten the reason(s) as to why, exactly, I was so angry in the first place.
Anger, it became this compulsive automation; like any other insatiable addiction, it felt good; it convinced me that it’s somehow a healthy way to live out life on a day to day basis; all the while, slowly and steadily, it was seeping the life out of me. Constantly being triggered and then re-triggered; it was a rush, a shot of adrenaline, and, it was also extremely soul-destroying and absolutely unsustainable.
You cannot hold this amount of anger for that long of a time; it will crush you.
There were countless bystanders who would say cutting racist remarks that I would immediately [mis]label as malevolent intentional bigots; when in reality it was excusable ineptitude and an understandable misunderstanding consisting of highly complex racial intricacies within our, unfortunately, divided homogeneous sects of society.
(This paragraph reminds me, I was not only consumed by this feeling, I was lost and stuck in my head.)
I’m not excusing their remarks; I’m not saying my anger was wrong; I’m simply acknowledging this elongated season of rage was [for me] unproductive.
The Turning Point…
This “turning point” began for me, about 3 years ago; my grandfather said to me in one word, repeatedly, and [at that time] annoyingly: Surrender.
I didn’t fully realize or accept this word surrender until recently (again, three years removed from my grandfather’s words). Quite possibly I didn’t have the energy; most likely, it was the baggage this word carries for me; the authoritarian tone it holds even when spoken gently.
But, what I heard him say then isn’t what I’m hearing him echo three years later; what I’m hearing him say now figuratively speaking, calmly and gently with his hand placed lovingly on my back is, “I’m here. I love you; breathe with me.”
Breathing, this is such an obvious technique most of us don’t do very well. We think we do; or, we’re in denial of. It’s one of the many things those of us that do this well and, without effort, take for granted.
Because, it’s with each breath that we can see, feel, and function more clearly.
And, it’s with this clarity that we can begin to see through the mess that was and still is this aforementioned/previously labeled type of “entropy.” It was with this sense of calm that I was able to find the energy to put one foot in front of the other; it was with this simplistic discipline I could overcome mountains every single morning by simply choosing to get up and out.
It was with this breath I breathe as I type this very post out that I could then see the uselessness of unforgiveness and, find the truth and power within forward movement.
I began to redirect my energy, focus and time towards uplifting and encouraging rather than, constantly fighting and reacting.
“The best way to resist people bringing you down is counterintuitively by lifting them up. Of course, there are people you’ll lift up who you’ll also not let into your life; but, it’s the understanding that many times lifting others up disempowers their hate or slanted passive intention; it doesn’t resist, so much as it just is (taken from a previous post titled, “A Brief Note on People Who Deliberately Try to Bring You Down“)
[Chatting with our editor here on Patheos, Ben Corey, I recognized this blog needs to take a shift – the last few posts of mine have been the beginning process of just that; check back in a few days, or follow me on FACEBOOK, to be filled in on the details as they unfold in this process; all in all, I appreciate all of you who’ve stuck with me through this roller coaster of the past few years!]