I have spent a number of hours of my life being upset with myself for the way I was feeling. If I were to add it up it would equal days, weeks, even months of time. I used to pray for the ability to stop feeling. That may sound ridiculous, but I have had such deep feelings of love and grief and anger that I thought they could destroy me. I also feared that someone would find out what I was feeling and judge me as being a bad person. After all, “good” people don’t feel that way!
I have questioned the design of my being, wondering what this emotional capacity was designed for. It seemed it was causing me a lot of distress and I thought my life would be simpler, more logical, more under control if this capacity didn’t exist.
Now, the logical part of me knows this is silly. I am a chiropractor who knows the design of a human being is magnificent. The systems, the abilities, the control factors are beyond amazing. I became a chiropractor partly because I have deep respect for this reality. When something is not working right in the body, I am all about finding what is interfering and assisting in removing that interference so that homeostasis and vibrant health can return. So my premise that life would be better without this annoying emotional capacity promotes the same premise that we have body parts we don’t need. I had my tonsils taken out at age three because my older sister was having hers out and it was convenient to do two girls at once! Somehow someone decided I didn’t need them. I don’t know if this law still exists, but in some states, it was a requirement to remove the patient’s appendix if the abdomen was opened for a surgical procedure as it was deemed a useless appendage that may cause trouble later. I don’t buy that kind of logic so why would I believe there was any part of me that isn’t part of that magnificent design?
But then my emotions are not logical, are they? And neither are yours; so therein lies a dilemma. It is difficult to see the magnificence in something that seems out of control. What I have come to realize is that my emotional state is not out of control but at times my feelings about it and my judgment of it can be. Why would I have such judgment about a beautiful part of my design?
My thoughts on this day are that this capacity, this gift, has not been acknowledged for its beautiful powerful contribution to my magnificent life. It has not been loved and honored or even thanked. I have experienced deep thankfulness for my body’s abilities to heal, to digest, to breathe, to stay warm and to keep my heart beating. Can I honestly say I am thankful for the fact that in this moment I am angry? Even saying I am angry makes me feel vulnerable to potential judgement. Do I need to make up a story about why I am angry, or can I just be angry? Can I be angry and not have the anger determine what I say and do? Noticing I am hungry is not this complicated!
Feelings can show up and surprise us. Sometimes it is not a surprise, it is obvious and logical. I just won the jackpot. Yay, I am filled with joy! I just heard someone I love is ill. I am sad—that’s also a logical and linear response. I am feeling agitated, restless, frustrated or depressed. Where did that come from? I’m not ill, nothing dramatic just happened—not so logical or obvious.
It is a habit to search for a reason, a story, a person or something to name as the source. Then you can be in the feeling in a “justified” way.
I say we can approach this differently. “I don’t know why I am feeling this way, but it is very real. Perhaps I can take a moment to be sure what it is I am feeling.” Sometimes we think we are angry but really we are sad. Sometimes we think we are sad or afraid when really we are angry. Here is an opportunity for ownership and thankfulness. “I am feeling … (fill in the blank). This is my feeling and it is powerful. I am thankful for this powerful energy. I am powerful and will use that power to create beauty and blessing.”
In this moment you are not only acknowledging this magnificent part of yourself, you are also thankful for it. Let your heart open to the wonder of your magnificent design. Take a moment to realize all of you is a blessing, not just the logical, dissectible parts. You can study and discover how your organs and systems work and give thanks that you are so wondrously made. Your emotional realm is not logical or dissectible. In fact, how your emotional capacity works is connected to how you were made to feel about the feelings you shared. Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? Did you ever express anger as a child and be told to stop it? Did you ever feel sad and start crying and be told, “I’ll give you something to really to cry about”? You can’t do that with your emotional realm. Your emotional realm is a magical, powerful capacity longing to be loved and used for creation. I believe your emotional capacity needs to be loved and appreciated so that it might find its place and play its part.
Let us begin the healing process of this powerful capacity and welcome it as a beloved friend.