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  • Writer's pictureshelisloterbeek

Freeing Anger and Fear

Anger. Fear. These are big emotions. They take up a lot of space in our body, mind and spirit. And they seem to be winding their way in and through so many different parts of culture and life. Especially right now. Our current cultural climate seems to be demanding us to take a "side" and to rage on it's behalf. I hesitated to even write this, but I write with love and it is my hope that you will feel that love as you read.

Three years ago I lived in a life of anger. Anger over what was happening in the world. In the government. And how it was impacting my life, family and the things that I was passionate about. It got to the point where John (my ever so patient and lovely husband) said "you HAVE to stop looking at the news." And he was serious. Sometimes I would look at the news in the morning and my passion about righting injustice would boil over to anger. But how could I keep my passion and not let the anger run over into my daily life?

So like any human with the internet I googled. And literally, I stumbled into centering prayer. The basic idea is to be silent. To sit with God. And to let go of the thoughts, ideas and images that come to mind while you're sitting. (Feel free to read more about it here.) There seemed to be a lot of people who did this thing and it seemed to bring them peace. (There's also a lot of fascinating research on how it rewires your brain! Google away!) I figured I'd give it a go.

And I did. Every day. For months. And you know what happened? The anger didn't spill over my day anymore. I was able to read the news again. I can engage in political conversation without being angry. My passion has stayed. I can still be passionate about speaking out about injustice and oppression. But there's a love that has pervaded the space where the anger was formed. And freedom was found.

Fear. Fear that divides. This fear economy that trades toilet paper for insults. I'm not going to lie, I'm a little bit of a germaphobe - the gym makes me gag and hotel beds, well, I kind of have to psych myself up for that. As I try to stay informed with what is happening, not just here, but all around the world, I felt myself becoming anxious. Anxious, not really at the virus itself, but at fear it has created. Fear has divided people once again. I'm not here to tell you one thing or another about my thoughts on the virus or purchasing toilet paper, but what I do want to share is that I know there's a way to practice releasing the fear. Practice centering prayer with me. It is one way to freedom. Let the fear be replaced by Love.

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