Anxious? Angry? Choose Love
Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death and the Senate Majority Leader’s pledge to bring a Supreme Court nominee to a vote make me anxious. I’m having hateful thoughts. I was raised to suppress anger, and Sunday school taught me to be kind and loving. But how can any of us --- Republican or Democrat -- love the opposite political party, when we believe it is harming our country? As the election approaches, members of both parties are feeling more and more angry and anxious and fearful.
What would help? – choosing love. Why? Love casts out fear. The Johannine writer says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear….” (1 John 4:18)
Love is a choice, not just a feeling. I googled “choose love” and discovered there is a “choose love” movement (www.chooselovemovement.org) created by the mother of a 6-year old killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. Her formula for changing an angry thought into a loving one is “…live a life filled with “Courage + Gratitude + Forgiveness + Compassion-in-Action.”
So, I tried it. I closed my eyes and accentuated my angry feelings toward leaders whom I fear will further harm our country. I gritted my teeth and got really angry. I could feel waves of tension flowing through my body. Then I switched to picturing those same leaders and surrounding them with forgiveness and compassion. My shoulders relaxed. Tension and anxiety disappeared. Yes, choosing love does cast out fear and anxiety.
Try it yourself. Did it help?
I like what Lee Ireland, one of my fellow UCC ministers, said about love recently:
Love and compassion don’t mean we just sit aside and let things unfold. It means we speak for the betterment of all, not just a few. Jesus knew that. He called people then, and us now, to learn the ways of discerning the best outcome for us all and speaking with truth and love to bring about that outcome if we can. https://sneucc- email.brtapp.com/viewemail/2700412
So, I can choose to calm my anxieties about this election by choosing love and compassion for the leaders of the opposition. And, later today I’ll be speaking with truth and love in my “get out the vote” texts to bring about the best outcome for all of us in November.
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Still anxious after reading this? Here is a 14 minute healing bowl meditation that is likely to help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Qhh2VF1Oz4