There is a paradox in the range of acceptable emotions. It is good to care, extend mercy, and love. The more the better! We look at our lives and intuitively assume that the best emotions are always positive, uplifting, and warmly received. I am coming to see that while I enjoy feeling good, thinking that these are the only acceptable emotions is a very shortsighted view. To change, make progress, and understand what is at risk, one must see beyond the immediate view. More is required and sometimes it is painful.
Having said this, I still find myself clinging to the view that if I was smarter, wiser, all knowing like a god, then I would be able to find positive emotions that come without pain that would still achieve the results needed.
What is the answer to the paradox of how human beings behave? Is change only driven by the positive and not emotions that are blunt, forceful, and direct? Is the arsenal of weapons that we use with each other limited? Do results determine the acceptability, even desired response to certain situations?
Obviously I have far more questions than answers. At my core I find myself puzzling over the observations of my elders. When one records God’s voice saying that, “I was angry, good and angry, because of Israel's sins. I struck him hard and turned away in anger, while he kept at his stubborn, willful ways.” (Isaiah 57.17) I find myself confronting traditional stereotypes and norms. It seems that there is good anger and bad, good love and bad, great compassion and judgment.
With the dawn, I wonder what I do with this puzzle. I know walking away is not the answer. I know hiding, denial, and avoidance is not the answer. I also know that my heart must be actively involved. I can walk as God walks, engaged. I can be as God is, fully present in what is now. I can strive to be like God, always seeking to heal, nurture, and help in the process of connecting others with Divinity.
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