Nov 11, 2010

A BIBLICAL/SPIRITUAL FORMULA: The issue of emotional health has major implications and consequences for LGBT people and everyone else!

¨All of us, to one degree or another, suffer from emotional discontents and problems that are largely and frequently caused by our perceptions and/or our distorted expectations of what this world has to offer. This phenomenon is especially acute for LGBT people who have been the victims of strident homophobia from virtually all quarters of society: the religious, the family, from politicians, and from assorted verbal and physical bashings that have resulted in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for so many...¨ HERE

¨...So much of our emotional problems, our existential discontents, come from what Sociologists call “Anomie.” Anomie occurs when one’s expectations exceed what the person, situation, or society can deliver.

For example, if I believe that working hard will make me rich, and I find out that when I’ve worked hard others who were “team players,” and who worked far less than I did, have gotten most of the rewards from our employer, I become understandably hurt and angry. My expectations exceeded the reality of what justice I thought would accrue to me because of my hard work.

Hence, my hurt, anger, and basic discontent with both my work and, frequently, with life itself. It is only when we learn how to neutralize our expectations of others, and of life itself, that we are on the way to achieving some level of inner peace to the degree that this sin-cursed world can afford us.

Similarly, if I enter marriage with the idea that there will always be harmony between my spouse and myself, and I later find out that we often argue or differ on certain matters and, therefore, become disillusioned with both my spouse and even with the institution of marriage itself, it is due to “anomie.” My expectations exceeded the reality of what constitutes marriage, and I must come to the point where I realize that we can’t take two different people with two different sets of genetics, different backgrounds, different interests, and different priorities and put them together and always expect “two hearts to beat as one.”

“Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. Let Israel hope in the Lord from henceforth and for ever.” (Psalm 131)

The gaining of “maturity” or, in the above context of Scripture, the status of being “weaned” from our illusions and facing life and our particular situations as they are, and not necessarily as we want them to be, helps confer a certain level of peace that our anomie certainly didn’t afford us. We come to the knowledge, sooner or later, of the truth of Oliver Wendell Holmes’ statement, when he was asked about the secret of his success, “A long time ago I realized that I was not God.”

In other words, what Oliver Wendell Holmes, former Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, was saying was that he came to recognize that there are many things in life, and in his life in particular, that he couldn’t “fix” or “control,” and that he had to separate what he could “fix” and “control” from those things which he couldn’t change. Clearly, this understanding resonates with the well known “Serenity Prayer,” often used by people who are fighting an addiction of one sort or another, and it is attributed to the famous theologian Reinhold Niebuhr: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Just as the incorporation of this prayer is crucial in the life of any addict, it is crucial in the life of every person, addict or not, Christian or not!¨ please read it all,  HERE

· Thanks to The Rev. Dr. Jerry, Maneker
· Thanks to Christian GLBT Rights, sidebar
· Thanks to Reinhold Niebuhr, The Serenity Prayer
· Thanks to Psalm 131, The Psalm of David

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