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Posts Tagged ‘emotions’

by Shannon Glenn, Guest Blogger

In the world of fandoms, “the feels” refers to the intense emotion we experience when remembering a powerful scene in a book, TV show, or movie. The most recent example I can think of is how everyone took a shot to “the feels” when we watched everyone fade to dust after Thanos snapped his fingers at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. I think most of us who had invested so much in all of our beloved Marvel characters felt like we had lost actual loved ones. I could not speak of Loki without tearing up for at least a week! In many situations these characters feel more real to us than some of the people we deal with on a daily basis.

As a child, I have very distinct memories of experiencing “the feels” of almost everyone around me. I cried when they cried, and I wanted to help everyone. Though it seemed odd strangers would often tell me their life story. I simply attributed it to being a good listener. I thought everyone was like me, but I found out quickly few people have this gift. Everyone loves to be around someone who has this gift, at least for a while. Life with humans reveals we often have a heavy price to pay when we love first and ask questions later.

The first time I heard the word Empath was based on a character named Counselor Deanna Troi on Star Trek the Next Generation. I saw myself in her. I would know if someone felt afraid or could sense if they were being dishonest, but at the time I did not know to trust myself.  Often people would look at me crazy when I would walk away from a conversation and indicate a person was lying. I would say things like, “You can’t trust them. I just know it’s a bad idea,” or “They are furious at me and did not show it.” Anytime those around me or I would discount those nudges, we would pay the price. I have a trail of broken relationships (which I likely should never have invested in) because those I loved and followed did not listen to my warnings. I’ve learned the hard way to trust my instincts.

Life in the American Fundamentalist Christian Bubble does not make room for empaths. I was told it was simply “new age hooey” so I learned to bury my gift and hide a part of myself.  I do not believe my gift, and I do now believe it is a gift, was given to be stifled because it does not fit in the ribbon wrapped box of American Christianity. The case can be made that Jesus himself was an empath as He was moved with compassion to restore the crippled, heal the lame, open blind eyes, and raise the dead.  He even confronted the religious leaders as He perceived their thoughts revealing true motives and intentions. These things can’t be explained away with the simple explanation of He was God. Scripture says He was moved and He perceived which indicates He identified and understood their situation, position, and intention.

After walking away from the church system a few years ago, I have been able to fully embrace being an empath. I believe this gift was given for a reason, and I use it to help those around me. However, I’ve now learned I must set up healthy boundaries which I never had before. It is not necessary to always reveal what you may know as it’s the equivalent to tipping your poker hand, and all things tend to be revealed in the right time. After a lifetime of hurt feelings and broken friendships, I am moving forward. I recently listened to the song “Walk On” by U2 which I had always loved. However, this time it really spoke to me. “I know it aches, how your heart it breaks you can only take so much” just echoed in my mind. I have been learning to walk on for many years and suspect I will do so for years to come.  I will continue to embrace the feels because it’s what makes me who I am. Sometimes I will hurt, sometimes I will laugh, but finally I will be able to feel them without doubting myself or my instincts and that is a freedom worth walking toward.

Peace and Love!

Shannon

You can check out more of Shannon’s writing at Life of a Prodigal or click below for other posts she has contributed to Confessions of a Recovering Churchboy.

 

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I’m sure we have all heard the verse, be angry and sin not, let not the sun go down on your anger. I always wondered what that meant, was it OK to get mad? The verse is from several verses talking about our new life in Christ and how it is different from our old life.

Growing up in the organized church, getting mad was a sin. We were always told you should not get mad or show anger toward anyone. Yet this verse always confused me. When talking about our new life in Christ, was it really OK to be angry?

I thought about the day Jesus entered the temple and was causing a big commotion with the money changers. It sure seemed to me he was mad at that point.

moneychangers

At work one day, I sat and listened as a couple guys were talking and noticed the conversation was getting heated. I could hear in their voices the anger rising up. Yet, when one of them needed some help with a certain project, he asked the guy he was arguing with to help him. Surprisingly to me, the guy stopped and went to help do what was needed.

I thought to myself, wow, I have been in numerous church administrative board meetings in the past and heard people get mad and argue, and literally storm off like they were enemies. Yet, here were two people arguing that same way, yet not showing any hatred toward the other.

I think that is what this verse is saying, it is not wrong to have feelings, opinions and reactions. It is not wrong to get mad and argue, but do not let your arguing lead to hatred of the other person. Do not let the sun go down on your anger to me is saying get mad, let your thoughts and feelings out, and get over it. Do not hold onto your feelings of being mad.

I think a lot of times that old teaching from my Sunday school days keeps coming through and I hold my feelings and emotions in rather than express myself. I am coming to find that the best thing to do is communicate my feelings, even get mad if necessary, but be respectful and do not hold onto those feelings. Get mad, get it out and move on.

arguing

Of course that does not mean we get mad and argue over petty things all the time, but when something deep within you needs expressed, you should do so. It seems that when we are free to express ourselves, discuss our thoughts, even get mad about it, we are actually creating a more open and real relationship with the other person. As long as we can do so without holding onto the bad feelings and get over being mad.

It is a hard thing to be mad about something and argue with someone, yet do so in a loving and respectful way. It is certainly not the natural way, but with God’s love within us it can be a reality.

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Writer Dylan Morrison

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