6/30/12

Just Not Feeling It - Feelings and Being

It wasn't that long ago, just 'the other day' as we say here in the South, that I was visiting a rural church for worship. After the call to worship by a well tuned choir, the pastor headed to the pulpit. He rose slowly, with an audible groan, shuffled to the pulpit, arranged a few papers and then without looking up, spoke a droning welcome, "This is the day...that the Lord has made..let us be (hesitation) joyful."

It was almost a scene from Saturday Night Live. I didn't know if I should laugh or moan. Clearly his life moment and his words were - disconnected.

Sometimes we don't feel it. Sometimes we are just not happy, joyous and free. What do we do when our desire to be joyful and our feelings don't jive?

Here's some thoughts on that:

1. It's OK to feel bitchy, sad, discouraged and down right 'unholy.' Emotions aren't evil, just uncomfortable. Give yourself a break. It will mostly likely pass.
2. What I feel doesn't have to determine what I do. Acknowledge how you feel, but don't inflict that on innocent (or guilty, for that matter) bystanders.
3. We can change our attitude. Write a list of things that are good in your life. Recite positive and life affirming statements. If I say, "I will win. Why? I'll tell you why. Because I have faith, courage and enthusiasm" ten times, it will likely change my attitude.

One of my favorite quotes comes from William James, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind."





9 comments:

  1. Wow - If I had only learned this 20 or 30 years ago - imagine the possibilities. Alas - I don't want to go back and try again, but just imagine how much better life could have been. Thanks for sharing buddy

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    1. For me, it isn't about learning this once and for all time, it is about remembering the truth when I need it. That's the tough part. Thanks for stopping by, Teddy! Write on!

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  2. So true, so true. I love the William James quote...will definitely be sharing that!

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    1. Elizabeth - I have a framed copy of that saying on my desk at work. I always need help remembering...

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  3. Happy joyous and free... one day at a time.

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  4. Yes! Love this because it focuses on personal responsibility and not blaming anyone for feeling less than blissful. Love it!

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    1. we are the only person who can work on us. right? :)

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  5. What I like is something from one of Stephen R. Donaldson's Thomas Covenant novels: "Joy is in the ears that hear, not in the mouth that speaks."

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Leave a comment. It's not like I'm asking you to write on a stone tablet or anything.