land of rest

Land of Rest is a blog of Peter Jenks. Poems, quotes and photos are by Peter Jenks (unless otherwise noted or I miss noting an older post's photo) and are copyrighted, you are free to use these if you acknowledge their source.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Anger and Guilt

It seems to me that both anger and guilt can be good things in very small doses but generally they serve as a banner or flag as to where inner work needs to be done in our lives.

When there is a true injustice, anger can be a good thing to motivate us to respond and speak up for what we know to be true and just. Likewise a guilt that gets us to get out of bed and do something or that motivates us to apologize for something we did or said is a good thing.
But most often guilt and anger just gets our minds and emotions spinning around. I have noticed during this last election season that things would be done or said that just ignited an anger in me. Sometimes it was a blatant lie or just a plan stupid statement that was being taken seriously and unquestioned. I would rant for a bit and find myself spinning around and caught up in the seasonal rancor. What was it that was happening, what was in my soul, life or heart that somehow reverberated by the outer circumstances. My experience is that anger in politics or in sports is a great way to get motivated to play and participate, but it can be too easily manipulated and turn on one in the midst of the game or election. Anger is also the great emotion that gets in the way of the true emotion that needs to be heard.

Guilt, likewise, can keep me from doing the things I need to do. It will just fester making me feel more and more inadequate. And when guilt and anger mix it is a very toxic cocktail for our health, as we add stress and frustration to a situation in which we just keep fermenting.

Music and humor are the best antidotes for me. To listen to soothing music or to simply start whistling or humming a song as I walk helps greatly. And most of all to see where and how God is going to twist things is important to me, no matter how badly or frustrated I get in the midst of elections. God’s sense of humor is far greater and more cunning than any crisis or catastrophe we can create. Much of the universe I think is propelled by the laughter of God. It is why the universe is constantly expanding.

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