Candid emotions are not always culturally acceptable. We see other cultures expressing intense, sometimes incredibly personal emotions. While we wonder about them, we tend to accept without too much question. It is as if emotions are fine as long as they are not mine! When confronted with the lack of logic our conclusion has when it is linked to weddings, funerals, and great events, we compromise but not much. It is almost as if we are in denial about what is. We cannot have emotions unless we must. Even if we have emotions they must be controlled and disciplined unless they can’t. Even when we cannot control our emotions they must only exist in customary times and places.
As the English would say; bollocks!
The blunt reality is that we all exist because of emotions. Emotions give us the ability to be in relationships. Relationships are what define life. It is inconceivable that what gives us the ability to live would be in itself bad. Yet denial, discomfort, and strain are often words one associates with emotions. As a friend reminds me, emotions in and of themselves are never right or wrong, they just are. It is what you do with them that matters.
When I read of a sister and her ability to deal with the death of her brother I am not surprised to find the emotions spilling over. Just because “Mary came to where Jesus was waiting and fell at his feet, saying, ‘Master, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died,’” (John 11.32) doesn’t mean she is out of control, accusatorial, or in denial. Quite the contrary, what an expression of hope and faith!
You and I have the opportunity to be candidly open with our emotions. It is a window for others to engage constructively in our lives and us in theirs. Taking the bold step is never easy because it feels like everything we are is open to criticism and rejection. Yet these are the moments where real life begins and continues. Today is a window.
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