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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Soothing Anger by Mindful Prayer

“For as pressing milk produces curds,
and pressing the nose produces blood,
so pressing anger produces strife.”
— Proverbs 30:33 (NRSV)
Created, as we are, in the image of God, we all have the capacity for anger. And although our anger is not as perfect as God’s anger is—the Divine sense of righteous indignation—we are often provoked for the right reasons. The trouble is, however, when we push our anger too far, or we don’t rally our resources and process the anger, we inevitably end up in strife; and others are violated.
Reconciling Anger within Reason
It’s a good thing to act as an agent for ourselves; to be able to attend to ourselves by validating the causes of our anger. This is an internal working model.
When we can take what is occurring within ourselves, that which is causing frustration, inner contempt, or derision, and actually notice it, consciously, we are able to quell the anger.
But when we allow angry feelings to boil, pressing our anger further, our anger no doubt spills over.
Not pressing our anger is about the choice and discipline of mindfulness.
Mindfulness this way isn’t necessarily easy to achieve; it must become a habit of thinking in ways where we are consciously present and conscious each moment. Whilst we will have lapses from time to time, mindfulness is a discipline that we can all develop. And there is no better process to augment mindfulness than prayer.
Journeying into Mindfulness Through the Consciousness of Prayer
This is God’s invitation to each of us: that, via prayer, we may become thoroughly more conscious of what is occurring around us and inside us as the precedence for our emotional reaction.
Prayer is not just something that we engage in within a quiet room, with eyes closed, and with hands clenched together. Prayer is better seen in the light of constantly communicating with God, by being in touch with our mindful selves.
When we pray in ways that enables God to speak to us, through what is going on within us regarding our world, we receive much more control over our emotions.
***
Managing anger is helped by conscious mindfulness, which is made possible through prayer—a constant and ongoing conversation with God. When we are in touch with the Spirit of God, and we are constantly seeking him before we proceed, our anger is neither pressed too far nor is it noticed as much by other people.
When anger is pushed too far it becomes violence. But, anger is eased when we pray. As the emotions begin to boil, we simply need to pray; to connect our situation, and our feelings, with God.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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