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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Peacefully Enduring Life’s Inner Storm

Inner storms are the metaphorical bases of life when all within is a swilling soup of tremor, a jangling array of nervousness for that which is in our midst. We may present calmly, but within there is tremendous turmoil—an inner contortion of vexation.

Prayer is certainly one of the answers:

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”

~Philippians 4:6-7 (Msg)

But beyond prayer is practice; practicing the practice makes it better to hold the stormy waves that crash against the rocks within us, even though such storms will never allow us to be cheerfully buoyant of spirit, without concern. Wherever we care, the output of love, we’ll risk our emotional lives within these storms.

Defining The Inner Storm

Such storms occur within interaction—those that go unexpectedly and awry. As people get angry at us, or us with them, or when frustration builds, and when there’s no time, as well as myriads of others, we’ll know the storm presenting as a psychosomatic feeling or a bundle of confusion between the ears.

The storm is personally defined, personally available at the bequest of incongruence, and we may personally regulate it. It’s created as a product of our experience and our humanity. Nobody’s inner storm is even marginally similar, at source, to the next person’s. This is why we must respect each person’s bounded anxiety; it’s ever relevant to them and, therefore, it must be to us, also, if we wish for good psychological contact.

When we would worry and fret; these are classic signs of the inner storm. The best method—the method of all methods—is via prayer to our God, that quietens the soul beyond reason, again, most inexplicable.

We hold the moment, knowing the presence of the storm intimately, maintaining contact with it in courage, and we go on doing what a more reasonable mind would instruct us to do. This takes mental, emotional and spiritual poise—a thing much practised.

Quelling The Inner Storm

We’ll battle this inner storm of ours—a thing we must own—whenever we feel at sea within ourselves. The key, obviously, is to gain congruence within ourselves and with our immediate worlds, accepting the status quo.

Quelling the inner storm is not really that at all, but it is quelling the effect of the storm. This is true courage: to live in the midst of such a storm, without much complaint, making the best of what we have. This is faith-building material. As we learn to endure our inner storms, with decent enough effect, we have more confidence for the next one and so on.

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Facing life effectively requires managing our inner storms—to quell our worries and fretting and anxiousness. Quelling our inner storms isn’t denying them, but learning to endure them. Prayer helps. There’s no substitute, however, for practicing this faith-building practice.

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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