The Monks of New Skete, Orthodox Christians famous for their dog training books, have written an incisive book on spirituality reminiscent of depth psychology and eastern (Christian) mysticism. Some exerpts that I think can edify all of us no matter what our spiritual foundations:

Let's be honest: anger, jealousy, envy, lust, cynicism, greed--are these not all present within every one of us? They are involuntary emotions, what the Orthodox Catholic tradition calls passions, that come and go. They arise from a normal, natural part of our personal landscape, energies that are neither good nor bad in themselves, but which certainly give color and texture to life. What a relief it would be to discover that we need not dance to their drumbeat! Our moral stature depends not on their presence or absence, but on whether we let them affect our behavior. This is why being aware of them in ourselves is so crucial.


By not acknowledging the reality of all that is inside of us, especially the emotions we are most ashamed of or embarrassed by, we allow them to metastasize into a vast army of personal demons with an astonishing power to control us. They drain our energy and constrict our freedom. Since our self-idol denies the very presence of these emotions, we have no way of effectively dealing with them when they unexpectedly erupt. We mistakenly interpret them as invading alien marauders. The threat of attack keeps us anxiously awaiting their next assault.

(In the Spirit of Happiness: Spiritual Wisdom for Living by the Monks of New Skete, 1999, Little, Brown, and Co.)

Be kind, we are all fighting a hard battle.