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  • Writer's pictureChelsea Barrett

Rifts in the Soul (Part 2)

I referred to anxiety and shame in Part 1, and how these emotions are born from forcing our souls to try to live the unknown future or live buried in the past. But the dominant emotion I did not reference was anger.

Anger is a rift in the soul born from a whirlwind of simultaneously trying to force your soul to live in the past, present, and future all at the same time. Your soul cannot handle this type of split and the emotion that comes through is anger or rage.

When I was 17 and dating an 18-year-old Kenny Barrett, I was dealing with the increasing reality that Kenny and I were in love, but we were very different. Kenny was trying to become an independent young man, as 18-year-olds often do, and I was balancing my final year of high school and making big decisions about my future. On my 18th birthday, I was expecting a gift from Kenny. It came to the day, and Kenny confessed he had not purchased me a gift because he didn't have the money to do so. I knew the week prior he had purchased an exhaust kit and dropped a few hundred dollars on his car. His precious "White Knight"- a '98 Eagle Talon with blue undercarriage lights. Cue The Fast and the Furious, a dream world Kenny wanted to live in for the better part of 2002-2005.

I was mad. Really mad. My soul was bouncing to the past, looking back at the unfairness of Kenny spending money on his car instead of me. It was reeling in the present, feeling a huge unmet expectation that I was not getting a gift. And it was being pushed to the future of unknown outcomes and questions about our relationship, and how it would be in the future, and would Kenny always struggle with money? I exploded in anger. And you know what I did? I looked out at the car with an intense hatred of it. So I got in the White Kight, started it, and purposefully dropped the clutch to kill the engine. And I got out of the car, walked back inside and went to my room, and closed the door. Did it help me feel less angry? No, and Kenny was now angry and left in the White Knight to cool off. I was so angry, and I felt so justified to be so. I can see now the rifts in my soul at that moment. And I've had to revisit this memory and ask Jesus for healing. I've had to forgive Kenny a few times in my spirit, and I've had to ask God how to deal with my anger many times.

I've been in counseling enough to know that the standard reason we feel anger is trying to control something out of fear. I get that. But knowing that has not changed my instinctual response to feeling anger more often than I ever feel anxiety or shame. And yes, counseling has helped me control my anger (ironically enough, you learn to control your own anger which is born from trying to control something else).

It does help to know that I can't control other people, or that I can't control the outcomes. But, it really helps to see what is happening at the soul level and how there is a fragmentation happening in my soul when I feel anger. I'm forcing my soul to feel the unfairness of what has happened in the past. I am also forcing my soul to a future tense of unknown outcomes. At the same time. My soul cannot handle this. The answer for me is yes, counseling, yes, letting go of control, but also a deep healing of my soul with Jesus.

I go to the past and pray for inner healing of these memories that are creating a sense of unfairness or injustice. I stay fully present without forcing myself into the future of what could happen if I don't control. And then my soul is finally fully present to deal with unmet expectations.

My present reality of an unmet expectation becomes the place where I turn to God to deal with the pain of living in a fallen world and a fallen culture with a fallen Enemy after me. It's remaining fully present that allows me to see truth over lies and agreements.

Okay, now I can more clearly see what agreements God is trying to break, or what lies I have been believing. Whew, my soul suddenly takes a deep breath. Yours will too. And I suddenly remember the deepest truth of why my expectations are not being met.

This world is not my home. I'm made for Eden and for heaven and earth fully restored. Of course, there is disappointment in the present.

Of course, because all the best this world offers is nothing compared to the future glory of being alive in the presence of God. This is what my soul is yearning for and this is why expectations often feel like they are not met.

And OF COURSE, we will feel pain in this world. If I'm fully present, I've got some tools to handle feelings of pain and disappointment. The biggest tool is true hope that all I've lost will be restored 100 fold and that all things will be made new.

This discourse on anger is a work in progress. But if your dominant default emotion is anger, you get it. All the prayers, mantras, and deep breaths in the world have helped me control my anger, but I'm after inner healing where I don't get angry in the first place.

The biggest jump forward in this is soul-healing inner prayer over the past, allowing my soul to stay fully present to this reality, not an unknown future.

I'm sure there is much more healing and growth for me in this area of anger. But I'm not going to force my soul to the future to control that path. Today, this is the message from the Spirit for me and I hope it's a message you needed to hear as well.

Keep Calm and Stay Present,


Expectation: Gardening is fun. My soul at the time: This is not fair and I'm not having fun.

circa 1996

Sorry Mom.

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