How-To Calm Your Inner Savage Beast
We all have an inner savage beast. Normally, we keep the beast leashed, our civility intact, our humanity in control, ruling our actions and reactions. But there are times when life yanks at the leash. Tumultuous times that suppress civility and unleash bitterness and anger.
If you’ve been awake and not comatose, you’re well aware we’re in one of those uncivil times and you don’t need a news alert or a primer to be advised of it. We’re all seeing a lot of things more clearly, and we’re running into brick walls on sharing and discussing many of them due to crackdowns on such fundamental rights as free speech. We are learning a lot too, about things we need to know but wish we weren’t learning and didn’t need to know. Things about subjects like spirit cooking and human trafficking and corruption on a scale we can scarcely imagine. All of which have been hashtags on social media that are now being suppressed and redacted heavily across a multitude of platforms.
In times such as these, times that try the soul, it’s important to exercise discipline and retain focus to keep the inner beast leashed. No one can keep up with everything. Everyone has their pets and their peeves, and there are many who, to further their own objectives, rely heavily on blurring the lines for earnest seekers. Fortunately, these fakers and manipulators are easy to spot, particularly if one recognizes the patterns.
But this article isn’t about those things, though each does deserve a litany of articles on its own. This article is about what we notice, see, become aware of that is unsettling, troubling, worrisome, and downright devastating or frightening—all of which feeds our inner beast—and how-to be aware, informed, and yet remain peaceful, keeping the beast from smothering the good and unleashing the dark.
In recent years, I’ve discovered that shining light into dark places and retaining peace requires one thing. Only one thing makes the difference. That one thing is faith. In self, in others and, for me, in God. That’s been key. Others tag that one key requirement as truth. Not truth relative to something, but simple truth. When all the clutter is cleared, when motives and objectives and agendas are tossed out, the simple truth remains.
This season produced an avalanche of challenges that try the mind and spirit. It has revealed the worst in us, but it has also revealed the best in us. Those everyday and ordinary people who stepped up and out, willing to risk their lives and all they have for truth, to protect the least and most vulnerable of us. To be messengers, delivering that which is needed to be known to defend and preserve humanity, but also to preserve the humanity inside us. To remove the scales from our eyes and permit us to see that the battle we’re embroiled in is a classic clash of good and evil.
That truth annoys our inner beast. Why? Because the truth isn’t always easy to hear or see. It isn’t always easy to accept. We are by nature drawn to seeing the best in people, to believing the best. But we have been coerced, manipulated, even directed into seeing the worst, believing the worst—even if it must be manufactured. So much of all that has been and continues to be revealed resides so far outside our normal sphere, we have challenges accepting it as possible. Yet we discover what we believed was impossible to occur in a civil society is happening. Illusions are shattered. Reality bites us hard. The inner beast is outraged and its roar shakes the foundation upon which we’ve based our lives. Shakes it so hard, it cracks.
This upset naturally creates anxiety, triggers depression and fear. In some, it ignites a dark void of hopelessness. In observing, we see all those reactions and rage. A deep, irrational but valid rage born and raised in deception and manipulation. But just as experience has taught us in other situations, people of faith have the weapons required to face the truth of what is (versus what we wish it to be) and to react accordingly. The most powerful weapon in their arsenal is faith. We embrace it and rely on it. We hold tight to it. Because we know that ultimately God remains in control. That He is with us always. We remember His promises, His assertion that His ways are not our ways and that trials and challenges and bad things, he turns and uses for good. Crooked places are made straight. We hold fast to faith, to truth… and we trust.
That faith/truth enables us to recall that there is good and bad in each of us, and it is up to each of us to exercise our faith in ourselves and in each other. To face adversity and remain civil. To agree to disagree without rancor. To grant others the grace we will need when we step over the proverbial line. To treat others with respect and to conduct ourselves in a way that warrants and earns respect.
Even in the best of times, when our inner beast slumbers, there are situations we can’t control. Actions of others we can’t control. But we can control ourselves. We can respect, we can behave with integrity, we can grant those who offend us with the grace we hope to receive when we offend others. We set the tone, the attitude, the proverbial bar. We choose, and we act on our choices.
And that is how, regardless of what is going on in our world, we claim peace and soothe the inner beast. Faith in ourselves and others, self-respect and respect for others, is the master key to all doors.
When things are going well, he inner beast is quiet and we focus elsewhere. We believe but take faith for granted. We’ve seen the results of that. But when times get tough and life gets hard, when our faith in our fellow man, in ourselves, is challenged and what we have believed is cast into doubt, then we draw close and faith becomes the rope that keeps us tethered. Faith sustains us. Faith restores us. It calms the savage beast inside us so that we perceive trials with calm clarity. We seek solutions. We remember that little is perfect, and flaws can be assets. We exercise discipline, faith in others and in ourselves. For in faith, truth, rests our hope, our civility, and our humanity.
And that truth embraced helps us retain peace and endure tumultuous times. That truth enables us to reclaim our civility and humanity and calms our inner savage beast.
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© 2016, Vicki Hinze. Vicki Hinze is the award-winning bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest release is The Marked Star. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s website: www.vickihinze.com. Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact. Subscribe to Vicki’s Monthly Newsletter!