Dear World,

I am trying to give up anger for Lent. Outrage certainly has its use, but for months–day in, day out–this stuff is whittling me to a nub.

If I could smoke pot for forty days, I would. Surely this would help.

I vomited on November 9th. Not because I was disgusted – rather, I was terrified – or maybe terrorized. For those who say this is melodramatic, do you know me as such a person? My mind had no sway over my body’s reaction.

This is about a tectonic shift. It’ about a legitimate concern for our democracy and the progress we’ve crawled toward, fought for, never given up on.

I can’t help but wonder how many will slip into addiction as a result of this political climate. How many will succumb to depression.   To hunger and domestic violence.   How many will refuse to consider talking to someone based on their own assumptions or simply not reach out for help. And how many will bury their bodies into a pit that only the god of their understanding can lift them out of?

If any of you have discovered a way to remain engaged and active without anger coursing through your veins, please share your wisdom. If cynicism were bread, no one would go hungry, so I ask for replies rooted in a spirit of healing and hope.   Surely the answer lies somewhere between mindfulness and not averting one’s gaze, but navigating this territory is rougher than any mountain range I’ve trekked through.

The Gospel tells us not to announce our Lenten discipline to the world–to do it in secret, and God will reward us in secret. The thing is, I need your help, y’all. This may require a group effort.

Peace.

7 thoughts on “Dear World,

  1. Perhaps everyone in your circle of friends can sign up for a day or two of the week…..their day (or two) to be outraged while others rest. I’m not joking…it is urgent to stay aware, but if you have a group and you can say, this is Margaret’s day to worry about that, Margaret’s day to mail postcards, forward emails — today is my day to chill out, maybe we can sustain righteous rage to get to the end of all this, whatever and whenever that is.

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  2. I should not presume to advise. But. Here’s what I try to do, with more success some days than others: To keep in mind the hearts that are only further hardened by the anger of those who ridicule and are condescending or who otherwise strike out. So to keep in mind they ways anger — the venting that seems internally so justified — only makes things worse, only hardens battle lines. For every person who voted for DJT, there is a personal story that led them there. Inside that story, it may have been a reasonable vote. Maybe all they need is to be asked their story. Or perhaps that is not all, but it is a beginning.

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  3. Joanna, I have had to pull away myself from possible overdose of national political news.I get hypervigilent when I do OD. I have to guard my mental health esp. since I am bipolar. The high of overstimulation can be addictive for me. I have to pray daily to use moderation in my intake of ‘news.’ I also believe if I get too upset my body reacts. I had diarrhea for two weeks after the election.

    Upon reflection, if I get that worked up, then I am doing exactly what the dictator wants. I don’t really want him to dictate my thoughts or bowel movements! I don’t want him to preside in my brain. As toxic as he is, that would be self destructive.

    I can only believe that cooler and more intelligent minds will prevail. I also think that the more people are personally hurt by enacted policies, the greater will be the national resistance movement. I don’ t recall as exciting a time regarding marches and demonstrations since the civil rights and Vietnam Nam era. The atmosphere is electric, not static, and that is something to be great full for!

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