“Feelings are just visitors, let them come and go.” – Mooji
“It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply.” – d.j.
“The worst battle you have to fight is between what you know and how you feel.” – Author Unknown
I think I have come to a point where I am beginning to realize the blessing and curse of feelings. What would life be like without them, and in the same breath, what can be done to stop the incessant weight or burden they carry with them at times?
Our world would be a meaningless existence without them. What would we do if we never felt loved or overwhelmingly felt the desire to love and care for someone else? What would it be like to never experience true joy, a deep gratitude for something, or to feel things like hopefulness, peace, or anticipation?
But feelings have a dark side – despair, loneliness, emptiness, and rejection. Have you ever felt lost, confused, or an aching inside of you that seems to have no origin? Have you felt as if nothing makes much sense anymore or that life seems to carry with it more grief and anguish then it does pleasure and satisfaction?
Some of us choose to stop feeling altogether. We avoid rejection by turning our love and attention to ourselves. We turn a blind eye to the plight of others in order to avoid feelings of vulnerability or the inconvenience that comes with the compassion to act.
Worse yet, we travel a course that is strictly driven by what makes us feel good in the moment. We fill our lives with entertainment that feeds our imaginations and fantasies. We have sex to simply satisfy the immediate lust or desire. We eat what is harmful to us because we love the taste sensation it gives us. Without prejudice or any kind of bias, we seek to surround our lives with whatever makes us “feel great” PERIOD.
So, how do we embrace the paradox that comes with feelings? How do we effectively separate the good emotions from the destructive ones?
Challenge Them Daily
“Emotions don’t tell the truth. Just because you have a feeling about something doesn’t make it a reality.” – Joyce Meyers
“Intense feeling too often obscures the truth.” – Harry S. Truman
One of the greatest habits we can develop is to continually challenge our thoughts and feelings – seeking to find the meaning that lies at the very center of them. When we take an honest view, a truth-seeking stance toward our feelings, we begin to distinguish between those that are fickle and frivolous from those that are significant, profound, and carry deep meaning.
I have always been a fan of taking quiet time each day – time to pray, reflect, and contemplate the immediate events or circumstances that surround us. During this time, challenge your feelings – seeking the “highest truth” that is hidden within them. By doing this, you can separate those that are based in lies, deception, and inconsistency – allowing yourself to embrace those based in truth and reality.
When I have felt so very lost and confused, I have come to realize that I am guided, steered, and assisted more than what I see or feel. When I challenged feelings of despair and hopelessness, I began seeing how each day brings with it new beginnings, new grace, and renewed purpose.
See the Paradoxical Unity That Lies Within Them
“Under heaven all can see beauty as beauty, only because there is ugliness. All can know good as good only because there is evil. Being and nonbeing produce each other. The difficult is born in the easy. Long is defined by short, the high by the low. Before and after go along with each other.” – Second verse of the Tao Te Ching
Take time to recognize the necessity found within the duality of feelings – how opposites are needed and how they end up defining each other over the course of your life.
True joy cannot be experienced absent of sorrow. Deep love cannot exist without knowing and understanding what it feels like to love superficially and without substance. Lasting happiness is defined by lingering sadness. We couldn’t know and experience one without knowing and experiencing the other.
So when those dreaded feelings surface, see them in the light of how they define and illuminate their opposite state. See how they add definition and deeper meaning to the other.
“God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites so that you will have two wings to fly, not one.” – Rumi
“Life is so ironic. It takes sadness to know what happiness is, noise to appreciate silence, and absence to value presence.” – Author Unknown
See the Powerful, Personal Choice that Accompanies Them
Sometimes we allow our feelings and emotions to carry us away as if we are subject to them – controlled by their every ebb and flow.
The Scriptures tell us that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” (2 Timothy 1:7 CSBT) It tell us “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8 NIV) It implore us to “let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” (Ephesians 4:23 GNT)
We not only have the power to override our feelings, to see them in a different light, but we have been promised God’s help in the process! During your quiet time, ask for God’s assistance – to analyze where your feelings are coming from, to see them in the light of truth, and to make the correct choices when it comes to manifesting the right thoughts and feelings surrounding your circumstances.
Tonight I hope you seek deeper truth about your feelings, see the beauty within their duality, and ask God to help you navigate the choices you make as you face them.
“But even if we don’t feel at ease, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.” – 1 John 3:20 CEV