This is the second of a five part series, "Barriers to Joy" by Rev. Dr. Trey Kuhne, LMFT. This series takes a look at the things that interfere with the active, intentional experience of joy in our lives. Here is Part Two:
Last week, I introduced that one key barrier to the experience of joy in our lives spiritually, physically, and psychologically was the lack of recreation ion one's life. I spoke of how recreation is actually re-creation and we are refreshed, encouraged, and built up in times of recreation in all three areas of the self (body, mind, and spirit).
This week, we will address another key barrier to joy which is anger. Anger is that emotion that we feel when we have been hurt in some way. When physically attacked our bodies naturally go into defense mode and anger can be a part of that to ward off an attack. But the anger that I am referring to here is that inward emotion that slowly eats away at the heart and the mind after a hurt has been experienced and which robs us of the experience of joy in our lives.
One of the ways that anger gets fed is through repeated experiences of inward rejection, being emotionally used by another person, feeling like a scapegoat, taken advantage of in some way, all which speak to our losing of the ability to have a voice in our circumstance.
Depression easily forms when we draw inward to escape from the hurts we experience. No longer feeling as if what we say counts, no longer feeling as if we matter, anger forms within the mind as a defense mechanism to ward off the impending hurt.
Anger can be so powerful inwardly that it can interfere with the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Joy, peace, patience, kindness, self-control all can be affected because of seething anger that eats away at our sense of self and well-being.
One of the key remedies to anger is love and forgiveness. Reflecting on the Father's love for us in Jesus Christ can minister to the deep hurt inside. Speaking to a counselor or minister about the deep hurts inside can help sort out the various feelings and help find the remedy of forgiveness for self and others.
If you find yourself eaten inside by unresolved feelings of anger perhaps reflecting on the Father's love and the forgiveness we can experience from the Father and the Son can help heal and transform our anger to love and forgiveness. Let God help bring you back into the experience of His joy and the joy of life!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Trey Kuhne is a pastoral counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist with Pathways Pastoral Counseling located at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, 400 Dupre Drive, Spartanburg, SC 29307. He specializes in working with individuals, couples and families. Call (864) 542-3019 for an appointment. He may be reach via email at: [email protected].