Do not resent, Do not react, Keep inner stillness
Yesterday, I wrote about parenting in a way that caused offense to a number of my friends — including my wife. For this, I ask your forgiveness. Partly, I wrote to get a reaction — with a title like “Radioactive Content”, this should not be a surprise. I’ve revised it since to be less reactionary, but I spent a lot of time last night and this morning thinking about it. A good part of that time, I spent obsessing about what I should go say to defend myself, trying to come up with something devastating that I could say to make it obvious I was right and everyone else had better toe the line. This is something I struggle with constantly: trying to bend the world to my will, to convince others that I am right, that I deserve to be listened to. Of course, you all know better. I’m a narcissistic blow-hard. So I sat down this morning and read over Do not Resent, Do not React, Keep Inner Stillness by Metropolitan Jonah. In it, His Beatitude reviews everything I’ve learned from a number of Orthodox writers, but it was a review I needed this morning — a reminder not to provoke others, not to “enflame the passions”. It was a reminder to keep from causing resentment as well as holding onto my own resentment. It was a reminder that I am, as we pray before communion, first among sinners. I ask your forgiveness.