Whilst to feel is to enjoy the best of life, it means also, paradoxically, that we suffer more acutely the pain. Alternatively, the thesis not to feel, to defend and deny, is a choice the majority make because feeling involves far too much risk; there’s safety in guarding against pain (guilt, shame, embarrassment, exposure, grief, loss etc).
To feel or not to feel—there’s a choice. Yet many find themselves predisposed to one or the other.
During spare moments, where there’s time to reflect, an awareness of feelings gathers about... to feel or not to feel—that’s our predicament:
Spare moments, indeed, out in the sun,
Forever, if ever, we know we can run,
Spare moments may bring an anxious awareness,
The knowledge, just now, of life’s unfairness.
Interceding in the space, captured anew,
The defence so typical, arriving as due,
Coming into being, enters our ‘mate’,
Quelling our feelings as if right on fate.
Choice becomes known, right about now,
To allow such defence or continue to plough,
Awareness, it comes, an overused word,
If we let it, it’ll make us free as a bird.
With courage we tackle this newfound fact,
Quickly along with it, the commitment to act,
At once we see what we may be becoming,
Indwells us because we like an image so stunning.
Spare moments are good in that they offer us space for thought, but this thought might occasionally degenerate into anxiety or despair, purely because an absence of things to do or think about means the mind is unoccupied—hence, the reflective imagination can take the reins.
So in this moment we may be feeling. If and when our feeling becomes too much it provokes a defence—we then have a choice; do we side with the defence entering denial or to refocus on something else, or do we ‘continue to plough’ boldly into these feelings.
Continuing To Plough – Entering Upon Further Enquiry
At times it takes a great deal of courage to progress a painful feeling, dredging deeper below into the source of the lament. As we rough up for seeding the earth within the soul, causing angst we rarely feel, we can expect to become undone emotionally. We’re unravelling ourselves in order to, at some point, reconstruct a better, more ‘stunning’ us.
This is the purpose of feeling. It’s getting to know, and developing, ourselves. Both are discreet, yet magnificent, tasks and outcomes. Whom, and how many, actually delve into themselves to such an extent—voluntarily? Only the emotionally mature, or those on that path.
To feel is freedom, despite the pain at times. To feel is to be human. To feel is to be every bit alive. To feel as we’re supposed to feel, and to be free for feeling, is to know the experience of salvation—the Presence of God. That’s because to feel is to attend to the truth.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.