Saturday, October 29, 2011

Attending to All the Emotions



Emotions have a funny way of commanding our attention—if not initially, by way of our honouring them by truth, then it’s by distraction as they confuse our further reactions to future situations. Poorly handled emotions make us even more emotional.


Emotions are God’s way of forcing us to own the truth about how we feel.


If we obey the Lord we allow emotions their appropriate hearing, but if we deny the emotion, pretending it’s not there, God says, “Okay, have it your way then.”


The problem is having it our own way—if we deny our emotions—means we lose the majesty of God’s glorious Presence and our following interactions in life are characterised by missing the mark. Again, denied emotions make us more emotional.


An All Encompassing Truth


Knowing that the emotions are an essential safety relief valve means knowing that running from them just increases the pressure. Yet, many people find themselves skirting the truth for a more comfortable lie of life—even if so, partially.


But such comfort is short lived.


We know this in the moment of anger; it’s an unreconciled emotion that holds us back. Something within us is not being resolved and a dark and heinous secondary emotion bears its ugly head.


It might only be a small thing—a minor detail glossed over—but the dissonance kills us from within. We don’t like lying to ourselves, yet we try it on every day.


It’s an all encompassing truth. Human beings cannot bear much of the truth and, ironically, they cannot bear much without the truth. It's hard to know which of these truths is more powerful. It’s clear that both are.


The Only Remedy


If we wish not to be fooled, able to handle each event on its distinct merits, we will accept the prevailing emotion and do something to adequately amend it.


This will mean being honest about how we feel, as well as bravely communicating such feelings. This is the only remedy for the human condition that must abide by the truths that impact the person in question.


The only remedy, when we are feelers, is to convey validity to our feelings by being honest about them, personally and interpersonally. This is done with courage, for no authenticity can be procured without adroit boldness.


The only remedy, when we reach inner confusion, is to search even deeper inside, to find the blockage, to explore the missing link. This is done patiently, for no search can be successful in frustrated anger.


The only remedy, when we grapple with fear, is to call it for what it is, and to look beyond it. This is done with awareness, for no fear will stand where the awareness of faith-to-conquer-it is present.


***


We are emotional beings. This is because we were made to live truthfully. When we deny the truth, especially if that truth hurts, our emotions call us higher to crisis. We are compelled to meet our emotions in truth.


© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

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