24 June 2015

How do you Feel – Training our Feelings

Greetings Dear Reader,

Last night I saw something so painful.  I was at a baseball game with my Son Bezel.   A child about the age of four or five was walking up the metal stairs and slipped.  His eye socket hit directly on the next step.  He was stunned but also obviously in great pain.  One of the stadium personnel was there and immediately helped the child.  The boy will have a shiner but will be OK.

What amazed me was his reaction.  He did not wail, cry out, or in any way let on that he was hurt save to wince and hold hand up to his face.  We could tell he was in pain but he controlled his response.  How many of us would do the same?

Yesterday I thought through controlling when we feel.  Today I am pondering how we manufacture some feelings.  In the case of this boy no one would have been surprised at wailing and tears.  I am more surprised that there were not. 

Some feelings like the response to pain are visceral and come from deep within us.  They are necessary for survival.   Others like offense and anger are a result of how we think about what happens around us.  I used to have anger as my primary response to almost anything I did not like.   I leaned just how destructive this is.

I have spent years training my mind and heart to respond differently.  That happens by capturing our thoughts.  If I think about how I feel before I express how I feel I may be able to feel more honestly. 

If I do wrong and there are consequences I have no right to be angry about that.  If I take offense at something out of pride or arrogance then I have manufactured a feeling that is unhealthy.  It is easy to feel the feeling without examining its source.  When I feel anger or offense welling up I am obligated to ask if the feeling is justified.

Yes you feel how you feel but sometimes that is based on what I am thinking.  We live in a culture where we are training ourselves to be offended.  We set up rules that establish if, then scenarios for offense and anger.  Culture should not dictate how one feels.  Honesty and love must dictate how I feel. 

If I discipline my mind to think well then I can master the manufacture of feeling based on poor thinking.  If I practice love and humility I will not be easily offended.  If I follow the command to love others I will not become angry as easily.  How we feel must be honest but it must also be based on honest thinking.   If I lose that then my feelings will be predisposed to self-centered thinking.  This is harmful and wrong.  “To think well is to serve God in the interior court.” – Thomas Traherne

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”

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