”What makes you mad?” He asked, in between our trading of the barbell for the shoulder press warmup.
“What makes me mad?” I asked, smiling now but a moment ago I’m sure I looked indignant. It’s just my face. My default look is; writer brooding in thought, an expression resembling one who is constipated.
“Yeah,” he said. I had a very specific answer at the ready. I only paused to translate my thoughts into a general statement. The two-minute mark struck again on the red analog clock above the whiteboard. I did my reps and then he did his.
“When people don’t do the right thing,” I said. “Especially when they know what the right thing is and they just don’t do it.”
“Me too,” he said. “I was just trying to get you mad for the workout.” I laughed, smart kid.
I know exactly what makes me mad. The anger I have now is not like that of my teen years when it was because of my rebellious nature nor is it like the anger I carried in my adolescence when I was inexplicably frustrated because the body God gave me didn’t move as fluidly as other bodies did. The anger I have now is one that burns against injustice. A fire in favor of simple things, like being kind, treating each other with respect, and practicing mercy. When those behaviors are substituted for selfishness, manipulation, and greed it makes me grit my teeth. I grit my teeth so as to not sink to that level of emotion that is palpable in certain moments. Moments where I’d rather swing the other first than turn the other cheek. I do my best to convert that heated feeling into purpose. Anger is a forest fire, passion is a torch to light the way. If one should snap, let it be to a beat and not on another individual. A poet once said; ”love and hate are beasts and the one that grows is the one you feed.”
Choosing to elevate is an apply all concept so whatever has your neck hot, it is possible to choose to be above it. Elevation is a deliberate, repetitive, mindset. Elevate is my word of the year, a concept I will practice until I reach new heights. I find it helps to practice to that song with the chorus; ”level up, level up, level up…” That beat is how I feel when injustice circles around me and I choose not to give the issue at hand the satisfaction of an emotional reaction. When we do not give in to anger, when we do get angry but we do not let the sun set on it, when we do not bother with the pettiness of getting even, we elevate. When we don’t waste energy complaining, when we refuse invitations to arguments, when we discipline our thoughts enough to find the bright side, we elevate. Please do not misconstrue this concept as passive, it is anything but. On the contrary, to elevate is to actively choose a peaceful state of mind, void of draining activities, in order to stay grounded in the midst of turmoil.
Anger is a forest fire, passion is a torch to light the way.-Genevieve Rose
Bringing change, real, tangible, lasting change requires focus. The kind of focus that cannot be achieved without first finding peace of mind and then maintaining peace of heart. This sounds more philosophical than intended, which is not the purpose of this blog. I consider myself a Word Wizard, not a philosopher. Mindless Peace was established to find the peace in it all and maintain that inexplicable state of serenity, a concept yours truly achieves through Jesus Christ.
1. Peace of mind
I’m no expert but I do know I’m chasing more than a good feeling, more than mere relaxation. As I write this, the current background sounds are the waves of the ocean and still, I lack peace. My mind is not settled. I’d love to achieve a state of mind wherein nothing rocks by boat. Jesus had that, didn’t He? On an actual boat? Yeah, there was a raging storm and Jesus Christ took a nap. That’s the peace I want, not as the world gives. I don’t want natural peace, I want peace on a supernatural level. As with anything else in life, it takes practice. I will continue to practice peace so that I may elevate into a refined version of myself.
2. Peace in heart
Let’s assume the best and say I’ve practiced peace enough, I’ve meditated on the Bible verses in the book of John enough, I’ve taken my attention off of the news and social media enough that I have been able to maintain a peaceful state of mind. Next would be having a peaceful heart. I don’t know what that looks like yet, I am not there yet. I have visited that place only in short bursts when I trusted God with everything. Peace is like a spiritual muscle. Muscles don’t develop unless you feed them well and work them right. In terms of fitness, I am just now beginning to see the start of the desired physique that I’ve been striving for and it’s taken a year and a half of sacrifices and hard work just to see the start. I thought I’d get there in 3-6 months. There as in my greatest fitness inspiration, Brooke Ence. Feel free to look her up or simply picture what Lady Thor would look like. I do believe I will look like her one day but it’s going to take years of dedication and development, not months, years. The same is true for becoming a peacemaker, one must first make peace within themselves. It’s not about where you are or who you’re with, I can say that for sure because I left Chicago winters to live by the ocean with my best friend, and it is clearer to me now than ever before, peace is strictly an inside job. My peaceful life is in the making. Similar to my physical development, spiritual growth often goes unseen at first. Before I saw my arms get cut, my legs get strong and my calves pop out, I was building endurance and shedding fat. Eventually, I didn’t tire as quickly and I didn’t feel as heavy. I felt strong before I started to look like it. Peace is an inward process but eventually, others will feel the peace of your presence, a peace you’ve worked hard for and they will gravitate towards that to feel what they lack. Practice and pray.
Injustices make me irate but so what? When has anger alone ever solved anything? At the end of the day, this hot mess of a world as I see it is a job only God can handle. People fighting for the sake of feeling superior. Charlatans abusing others out of greed. Innocents being attacked while the wicked appear no worse for the wear. Those problems are ones God promised to solve. My participation amid the practice of being able to elevate to the level of a full-time peacemaker is to pray. That is a task I can do. That is all I can do and that is the best I can do.
”Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”-Matthew 8:23-27
Breathe. Watch the waves. Elevate.