...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Fun Sin

“Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back--in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.”  Fritz Buechner

When is anger no longer "fun?"
At some point, the pendulum swings on anger. It's when anger ceases to be fun. I remember one friend saying to me, "I'm just tired of being angry." There's energy depletion, exhaustion, depression, fatigue. 

Is it when you realize the toll it takes on your mind, body, and spirit? The Big Book mentions painful "resentment" or "being burned up" as not only very destructive to spiritual health, but the number one offender in drinking again.

The physical costs are well documented in Anger Kills. Almost all the time, we tell ourselves one of two things (or maybe both) when we get angry: 1) a situation is not fair and 2) it's not under control. Think about what we're telling ourselves and then ask: "Is my anger justified?" and "Is there anything I can do about it?"  Answering both of these questions first will provide further guidance on what to do with our anger. 

St. Paul advises to let go of anger every day, by writing in Ephesians 4: 26-27: "Be angry without sinning. Don’t let the sun set on your anger. Don’t provide an opportunity for the devil." A simple bed time examen can be used by naming three life-giving things experienced in the day, three life- draining things, then move on to confession and thanksgiving.

The Cenacle, Houston is featuring the well known author and retreat leader Rev. Matt Linn, SJ Thursday, January 30, 2014 on "The Fun Sin." Please check here to register for this professional day for spiritual directors. 

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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If you want a formula for making the best of the less-than-perfect and making the most of what you have been given, then begin to compare your lot to what you were before you were born, and it will empower you with wonder every time. John Claypool

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