A Major Coping Factor

“The function of a leader within any institution: to provide that regulation through his or her non-anxious, self-defined presence.”
Edwin H Friedman

This morning, Thursday, October 11, 2018, I think of Edwin H. Friedman, God rest his soul. He took his psychiatric training, his Hebrew roots and offered, through writing to help us live. To really live.

I never met him, and yet, when life crunches, when I fall to the horrible temptation that it will always get better before it worsens, when I’m not sure tomorrow will have fewer clouds, when I’m tossed and turn by the next Michael, if I stop. I mean really stop. Really, really stop.

And read Dr. Friedman’s quote above, I am the better. Because, and there’s no year of my life when it hasn’t worked, I do whatever I can to become a non-anxious presence. That means in one factor, I am not sufficient unto myself to live most effectively. To become non-anxious requires self-differentiation. Self-differentiation that is founded upon the truth of who and whose I am.

Direct: I need God.

Direct: I need others in my life who are more willing to understand than judge.

I need to be a non-anxious presence who self-differentiates the light and not the shadows.

Sometimes that takes such colossal energy.

So. This morning. I read about Michael. I look at our national splintering, politically and economically, I consider churches I have served as their pastor and as their judicatory and sadness looms because so many of them are limping more than walking…and to dance like Zorba? Not likely.

I look at the storms and wonder where and/or Climate Change is a factor. I wonder why so many Native Americans in North Dakota will not be able to vote…or the hundreds of thousands in other states who have been removed from the voting rosters. I wonder about families beset with medical hurricanes.

So. Not wanting gloom to be the full picture and wanting new breath and life and hope to quit its atrophy cycle, I now stop writing, give thanks for Dr. Friedman and let non-anxiety have its day. Even more. Have its manner of living. I’m going to do my damndest to become better inside. So when I open my ears, when distress echoes in words and conditions of my friends, I don’t succumb to a non-response. Rather I’m very able to be non-anxious presence…especially for myself. Especially.


About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
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