Friday, June 8, 2012

Containing the Beast Within


Of such a thing we are deathly afraid,
But opportune time invites exploration,
The beast within reveals how we are made,
And highlights a way to reach our destination.
***
Each of us, perhaps, has a beast within that is very much repressed by our conscious and unconscious competence. We have learned, as we grew up, and continue to grow in maturity, to harness this beast. But every now and again it raises its ugly head.
Such ugliness, however, may be an important clue in our exploration of self.
A total willingness to venture within, especially within the protected Christian framework, or any other framework of belief that insulates, is blessed by God. The simple warrant of seeking to know oneself, exploring honestly and truthfully, is a magnificent concept; perhaps the very idea of life.
Has not everyone got a little nastiness, a little evil, in them? Just because we repress such evil, often containing it poorly because our awareness is lacking, doesn’t mean it won’t rear its ugly head somehow at the least digestible moment.
And perhaps the key point is that God views this beast within us much differently than we do. God isn’t the one inflicting shame on us. God just wants us to understand the beast and to work in the context of it, accepting our bestial, primal urges.
The Opportunity For Openness
Why would we not want to be honest with ourselves? Why do we choose to deny important, though little-known, aspects of ourselves? To know that God approves of every part of us must surely help. If God has forgiven us, we are forgiven without condition.
So, there is an opportunity for openness with ourselves. When we present in childlike vulnerability to learn, God sponsors our growth.
Upon any of our weaknesses, including our anger or propensity for resentment or complaint, is the fleeting presence of the beast within as it rises, to give us a glimpse of what lies within, so we can know it.
Knowing The Weakness In Order To Strengthen It
To strengthen or to cater for our weaknesses must surely be our goal.
It’s not as if what we don’t know won’t hurt us. Quite the opposite is true. If we know we are given to sexual immorality or addiction or anger or resentment or anxiousness, hiding from the fact will do us no good. Being aware is being armed.
When we know our weaknesses we can compensate for them, importantly by ways, first, of acknowledgement and acceptance. What role have we in rejecting what God has already accepted? There is no rejectable part of us.
***
When we can accept the beast within, and don’t look to conquer it, we and the beast can live at harmony before God. A sinner and their God: a holy force for good.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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