Image Courtesy of dan at
Image Courtesy of dan at

History teaches us many things, but I especially like how it sheds light on how we live and what we feel today. For instance, if you look back at some of the times of great societal upheaval – the American War of Independence, the French Revolution to name two – many began or reached a boiling point (no pun intended) during the very hot days of summer.  In fact, the term “Thermidor” was the name given to the month of July, when French revolutionaries overthrew the monarchy in France and re-engineered just about every aspect of society (including the annual calendar). This term was applied later to the overthrow of the revolutionary government, including Robespierre, in an event called the Thermidorian Reaction, in July 1794. Another very hot month, another political inferno.

This blog is not about history (although I appreciate your allowing me to indulge in writing about it sometimes). But we can apply the concept of “Thermidor” in a very contemporary way and perhaps learn from it.

If revolutions can spark during the hottest months of the year, what about anger in our hearts toward our lives with illness? What about frustration toward God for giving us such burdens? What about moments when we lash out at those we love because they “just don’t understand?” What about self-pity parties because we feel oh, so sorry for ourselves when it seems everyone else is getting a vacation and there is no vacation from illness for us? Ever. Can the heat of the summer instill heat of another kind in our hearts – a heat that is destructive and can cause lasting harm to us, our relationships, and our faith?

No flippant question, here. I notice that, if I go outside in the heat of the day, I am not at my best emotionally or physically. Hot weather zaps my energy and erodes resilience to keep my temper tempered, my thoughts away from how uncomfortable I feel (and oh, how it isn’t what I want at all). Yes, I can get angry when the mercury climbs, my own Thermidorian Reaction!

In my previous blog post, I wrote about illness triggers and ways to understand them. I mentioned heat as something that can be a trigger for me. All the more reason why I avoid it! And all the more reason to keep learning from history – we never know when we’ll gain wisdom and acquire awareness!

Be cool,


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