Saturday, October 20, 2007

on being human . .

South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu : "Ubuntu is the essence of being human [...] we say a person is a person through other persons. You can't be a human in isolation. You are human only in relationships. [...] So we say that 'I need you to be all of who you are in order for me to be all that I am.' Because no human being is totally self-sufficient. In fact, a self-sufficient human being is subhuman." [...] If you want to be human, we are not going to be able to be human in isolation. It will be that we are human together."

Friday, October 19, 2007

Anger: Car horn or warning light

Anger is normal and not unspiritual. It is an expression of hurt, frustration, or fear. An angry person suffers from one, or more of those three things, which is a rather sad thing. Angry people are hurting people. Do you struggle with anger? If so, you have pain you need to deal with. I have pain I need to deal with, so I know how you feel. Part of writing this is part of my healing process.

Anger, though a reasonable feeling, makes us unreasonable as we hang on to it. We get unreasonable very quickly. Anger ferments and becomes a poison and gets ugly and hateful. (We find out we’re indeed sinners.) Acknowledging the reasonable feelings behind anger (hurt, fear, or frustration), and giving anger up sets us free–from the poison anger becomes to us, and the consequences of hurting others by vomiting this poison out in some way.

Maybe we have felt our feelings are inappropriate or unchristian. Feelings themselves are not right or wrong, just like knives in a kitchen are not in themselves wrong or unsafe. It is simply how knives are used that is appropriate or inappropriate, safe or unsafe. Using feelings incorrectly is very unsafe. Using knives incorrectly is unsafe. Chopping vegetables for soup carefully on a cutting board–good. Chucking a butcher knife at your husband–bad. Angry words and deeds are the same way.

Anger, like dairy products, spoil and become useless–so please, don’t let it stink up and ruin your life. When you feel anger rear it’s head, locate its source: Are you hurt, frustrated, or fearful? And why? Be honest with yourself, and grow from your findings. Then, let your anger ease. Give it to God. Lay it at his feet. It’s too much for you to bear and you weren’t meant to carry that burden. Life is painful enough. We really don’t need to make it harder on ourselves. Abandoning our anger quickly will spare us pain and give us more freedom to forgive, love, and be loved.