Food for Thought

In several groups I run with (seriously — more than one right now), there’s a pervasive commonality: anger.

At church this morning, our priest gave a very good sermon about how we, as humans, LIKE to be angry. We don’t confront the people who have made us angry because that might fix it, might make it better, might stop the adrenaline rush that comes with anger. And we like to be angry in groups — we like to tell people what that guy did to us and why it’s so horrible and have our friends commiserate and then also be mad at that guy.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Especially in the shadows of so much tragedy, why are we all fueling the fires of anger (myself included — I’m not so naive as to think that I’m innocent in this, by any stretch of the imagination)?

We say that we want the anger to end, but do we really? Would we then have anything to talk about, were we not angry?

The feeling I got at the Red Cross shelter the other day from the people staying there was not one of anger or helplessness. I didn’t get a feeling that they were trying to blame anyone for what has happened; I didn’t get a sense that they were upset with the way things have been handled. I felt hope. I felt love. I felt peace. It was overwhelming and beautiful. And what did I do? I savored it, and then almost immediately got sucked back into the anger and hostilities of my little microcosm.

Our priest said today, “I don’t know how you can live in anger and live in love. I don’t know how you can hold a grudge in your heart and hold faith there, too. I don’t think there’s really room.”

Maybe it’s time for me to learn how to let things go, and just give up control where I do not need to have it.

Love and peace to you all. May we all find them in our hearts.

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