14. Emotion

Emotions tend to travel in days, don’t they? I mean if you’re worried in the beginning of the day, then chances are you’re going to be worried throughout the entire day. Feeling good in the morning generally means feeling good in the afternoon. But then, there are “the interrupters,” the things that can immediately turn your emotional state of mind.

 

Some “interrupters” destroy and others restore the preferred emotional balance. The sun breaking through on a cloudy day, for example, is a restorative interrupter that makes me immediately feel better about things. Generally, I’m more hopeful and eager when the sun is shining. But to hear of troubling news, well that’s a “destroyer” that can easily make me cower and grow fearful of the world – even doubtful of my own next steps. Holding a sense of anticipation about a fun upcoming event excites and energizes me. But the dread of other events can easily pull me down emotionally. If you let it, life can take you on an emotional roller coaster.

 

But we need balance. Even more than that I think we need the constant import and strength from those emotions that make us feel so good about life and the future. We need to be “heavy” on the good emotions, and “lighter” on the bad.

 

Control

 

Thankfully, our general human tendency is to look toward the life-giving things; we want to be hopeful about the future and put difficulty behind us. And generally speaking, our minds are very sensitive toward the things that would make us feel better about life. Just hearing an old song on the radio, for example, might remind you of those “care-free” days in high school. Why can’t you feel that way more often?

 

Now, I agree that life does get more complicated as you enter adulthood. Just look at the list of responsibilities: raising children, work, running a household, and paying bills. These things can impede the light of those strong and good emotions. You might even say that it’s just hard sometimes to find the time to feel good (or even bad) about things. Maybe you sometimes feel sort of emotionless, like a machine — just “going through the motions.” How do you begin to feel again? How do you invite those strong emotions into your mind and spirit and hold on to them?

 

I believe that feeling good is a practice and a habit. You must create your own unique pathways to release those rich feelings and then daily travel those paths. For some of you that pathway maybe be prayer or reading the Psalms of the Bible. Others enjoy music, poetry, or solitude. These, and many others, are the elements that gild the passages of Joyous Gard. They are the “things” that restore and rejuvenate the sleeping mind.

 

I tend to like new things — new ideas, thoughts, music, personalities. I try to surround myself with the things that make me come alive. Remember the single-album rock star Peter Frampton? His best selling live-recorded concert was called “Frampton Comes Alive.” Yea, that’s what I think about: I want to find out what makes “Levi Come Alive.”

Day 14 Guide

 

Today, consider the things that make you feel good. Think of things that arouse your emotions from every sensory angle – taste, touch, smell, sight, hearing. Choose something that makes you feel good and then deliberately put it in your way. It’s Monday, time to “Come Alive.”

 

© 2005, Levi Hill

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