Feelings are such fickle things. They come and go. They rarely stay long; however they can dig a hole and hang on for life. I do not believe that feelings are meant to hang on. I believe that they are meant to be for us a guide, a tool, and a measure of what we are experiencing in this incredible journey of life.
Feelings can be like decisions. You can choose them and then they gently ebb us into the space in that moment. Like loving. Love is a decision. When you choose to love, even if you are angry, the feeling of love (loving, caring, etc.) will slowly move in and the anger will take a back seat. However, if you choose anger, it might gently ebb to you or it might erupt like a volcano in you and then you are in an uncomfortable place with another.
As a child I could not put words to my feelings. I would act out my feelings so easily. I wanted something and since language was limited, I would make noises trying to communicate that, which I so desired, e.g., ice cream. Sometimes my body language was gentle but sometimes it could be obnoxiously selfish in my desire for the beloved ice cream. Slowly as I grew, I learned that expressed feelings are not always welcome in the public milieu. I learned that sometimes I should keep them to myself. But I have also learned that it not good to ignore them. They can come in the back door and kick you in the pants.
We have been given a wonderful gift from our Creator. Because the Son of God came and lived as one of us, He knows what feelings are and how some feelings are such a blessings and others are such a cross.
For many years I believed that I could not help my feelings. It was only when I began to grow in my faith and understanding that I learned that feelings can be chosen. I can choose good feelings rather than bad feelings. Sometimes I need to choose good behaviour and then the feelings follow. Abraham Lincoln said it well when he said, “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.”
I can choose those feelings that will help me to grow and become strong rather than choose feelings that will drag me into a dark hole of isolation and woe. I remember a few more lines from Abraham Lincoln who said “People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” and “Every man’s happiness is his own responsibility.”
To be free in your feelings is healthy. In your life, your faith walk, feelings are wonderful gifts of expression. I learned to bury my feelings as a young person. I would watch movies and television and believe that the way emotions were portrayed was the way to do it. It was all a lie.
My God loves me so much he did not leave me as I was. I have had some very hard experiences in my life that were sent to me as opportunities to grow and learn about God, myself and others. I am slowly becoming more alive than I ever have been. Feelings are such wonder gifts. Thank you God for the gift of feelings.
copyright 2011 Gloria Winn, all rights reserved.