84 Anger

Secret number 16 to finding humility is learning to let go of anger.

Stop your anger!  Turn from your rage!  Psalm 37:8 NLT

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.  Proverbs 29:11 NIV

I have changed my ideas about anger a few times over the years.  At one time I thought anger was an evil to be avoided.  Later, I realized that I really could not avoid encountering anger at times.  I even went to the point of embracing anger as a friend.  I thought it could be used as a way to overcome shame.  Yet, all the anger I have felt over the years has not taken away my shame.  Anger signals a problem but, in and of itself, does not solve the problem.

We need to understand why we are angry and deal with the issue.  Then we need to let go of the anger itself.  An analogy from fishing is catch and release.  We need to catch our anger—realize we are feeling it and find from whence it comes.  We may need to do something in response.  The anger can give us emotional impetus to do that, but then we need to let go of anger.  Holding on to anger harms us and those in our lives.

In our perfectionism we vacillate from squelching our hearts with shame to giving free vent to our anger which can result in shaming others.  We need to learn how to put our hearts on a “dog leash” or, in the case of our home, a “cat leash”.  We need to actually feel what our hearts feel while also learning to respond appropriately.  Shaming ourselves for feeling only squelches the feelings, intensifies them and prolongs them.  At the same time, these intense feelings do not give us permission to do whatever we feel like doing.

Our Example, Jesus knew beforehand that Judas would betray Him and was in anguish about it. (John 13:21)  Since Jesus experienced intense emotions, we will, as well.  Experiencing intense emotion does not mean we are not spiritual.  We have emotions.  How we respond to our emotions is what matters.  The way of humility involves letting go of the intensity of our emotions rather than holding on to this intensity.  Holding on to this swirl can lead to bitterness, selfishness, strife, etc.  Emotions take time to wind down.  Jesus, in dialoging with others and taking His strong emotions to His Father is our example in dealing with our own strong emotions.  We need to let hope replace anger as we learn to let go.  Learning is a process and takes time.

As we learn to let go of the past and look forward to the future we will realize that our past need not tie us down; our future can look very different from our prior experiences.  We need to trust God and believe in Him.  Our future is full of hope, bright and beautiful.  God is a Way-Maker and will make a way for us.

Trusting Him and holding on with a mustard seed of faith,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

Sermon related to anger:    http://www.vineyardop.org/resources/multimedia/details/?id=244823

50 Peace

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.  John 14: 27

Last time I said that self-acceptance was not possible and then gave you the above verse on peace.  Perhaps you wondered, “How do we get that peace that Jesus promises?”  That’s a huge question.  Here are a few ideas in response.  Peace could be defined as self-acceptance or even ‘no internal conflict’.  That theoretical state may be desirable, but is improbable.  Consider the battle Paul talks about in Romans 7; that battle with our flesh or old self.  Then, consider the external conflicts; issues we have with others.  Conflict is inevitable.

Internal conflicts often lead to intense emotions from which we seek relief.  Finding the peace that comes from an absence of internal conflict is fleeting, at best, especially for reflective people.  In perfectionism we seek to resolve all conflict by finding the solutions to all of life’s problems.  This shows how prideful, grandiose and self-idealistic we can be.  If we can’t find a peace from resolving all of life’s issues, then how do we find peace?  We need the peace that Jesus gives rather than a peace that we strive to manufacture within ourselves.  His peace surpasses understanding!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

Emotions give us the energy we need to work through conflict when we find ourselves in conflict.  However, we sometimes cannot find solutions through the conflict in the moment of conflict.  Also, some internal conflicts follow us throughout life.  We need to talk through our intense emotions when we find ourselves ‘sitting and spinning’ or stuck in circular thinking, first with God and then with safe people.+

The above verses help us not only with anxiety, but also with any negative emotions.  As the old hymn goes, we need to “Take it to the Lord in prayer.”  We need to spend time with God, tell Him all about our struggles and ask Him for what we want and need.  He can say, “Yes.”, “No.”, “Not yet.” or, “I’m answering your request in this way.”  We invite God into our struggles and put our trust in Him, His resources, wisdom and guidance.  If we trust in our own resources we have reason to be anxious.  Subsequently, when we entrust our lives to God we need to thank Him for what He has already done for us.  In a posture of prayer and thankfulness we receive from God the peace that surpasses understanding.  He gives peace regardless of our circumstances and regardless of finding resolutions to conflicts.*

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true…think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8),

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com

+ See blog #19 for Safe People.  Here is a link to it:  http://wp.me/p1Z40K-2s

* Following is a link to the sermon from whence some of these ideas come:  http://www.vineyardop.org/resources/multimedia/details?id=185630

45 Frozen Emotions

When we rest we find awareness of our deep thoughts and feelings.  When we have pain and unresolved issues, we often stay busy to numb ourselves from them.  Busyness wars against our spiritual life.  As we allow thoughts and feelings about our pain and issues to surface, we need to open ourselves to hear from God.  We need to invite Him into the deep places of our hearts.  In the place of being still, we cry out to God and receive His Spirit.

Surely, You desire truth in the inner parts; You teach me wisdom in the inmost place.  …Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.  Psalm 51:6, 10-12

When we shut down our emotions, we block the Holy Spirit.  Jesus, through His Holy Spirit, is a Gentleman.  He knocks at the door of our hearts, but doesn’t enter unless invited. (Rev. 3:20)  When we invite the Holy Spirit to go into the recesses of our hearts, we need to be open to experiencing His comfort and attending emotions.  We may want to numb or ignore our emotions.  These emotions can become “frozen” when we choose to barricade them from our awareness.  As children we learned this strategy to cope with the unruliness of our emotions.  The barricades led us to numb or disregard our emotions.  However, God has given us our emotions to work through problems.  Ignoring emotions does not make them go away.  Our emotions are a part of us and not separable from the rest of our being.

When we become aware or present to our emotions we give God access to them.  We cannot heal ourselves, but we can block healing.  We want to experience joy, but we need to work through pain to get to joy.  At times we will experience pain followed by times of joy and release.  God does not hold us in pain.  We might hold ourselves in pain.  He wants to heal us.  We find support from God as we cry out to Him.  Moreover, we can find people who support us.  They can help us discover new ways to break through our barricades, experience our emotions and then manage them.  We need support from safe people.  We cannot heal alone.  We trust and depend on God alone and receive people only as servants from His hand.

As an example, after years of opening myself to God’s healing, I still had frozen emotions.  I acted in anger without feeling it.  With encouragement, I attended an anger management class led by a safe teacher (a safe person and servant from God’s hand).  In an exercise from the class (STOP exercise, a helpful tool), I found that I did have anger!  Over the years, I continued the exercise and discovered other deep emotions and their roots.  As I heard God speaking His love over me, He worked a deeper healing within my heart.

Warmed by His embrace,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com