Thursday, December 17, 2015

Spiritual Journey Thursday - Gift of Emotions

 I look forward to Thursdays when I can publish thoughts on my spiritual journey and hear the thoughts of others on a weekly basis.  It has become a space for an encouraging and fortifying community to come together.  We welcome anyone who would like to join us! 
This month has taken on its own theme - unintentionally on my part.  The theme topic of GIFTS developed.  Today's post is about The Gift of Emotions.

I have a new favorite movie.  I know I'm a little late in the game, but I missed it in the theater, so I had to wait.  I finally got to see it and fell in love with it!!  I have to say, I identified with Joy.  I'm not as overjoyed as she is all the time, but I identified with her need to make everything happy and okay.  She's so good at it, and of course, we want to be joyful as much as we can! One side of my family (I won't say which ;-)) prides themselves on coping by denial, and I have to say, that works just fine for me.  Ha.  I know that's not always the best policy, though, which Sadness in "Inside Out" expertly demonstrates on a couple of occasions, helping to develop the theme of the movie.
It seems that the message we always get as Christians is that we are to be joyful all the time.  I understand this.  When we fully comprehend what Jesus did for us, how can we be anything BUT joyful?!  However, we are human, and even Jesus wept.   I know we are supposed to have self-control and be slow to anger, and jealousy and pride are negative.  We should be free from anxiety and fear because God is in control.  We know all this, but what if we considered our emotions as gifts?  Maybe sadness helps us feel empathy for others, anger motivates us to fight against injustice, gratitude helps us give thanks, joy inspires us to celebrate God's goodness, fear keeps us from complacency, and so on. 
While we want to spend a lot of time with Joy, it seems okay to let Sadness (and even Anger and Fear occasionally - you should probably tell Disgust to cool it, though) sit beside us once in a while.  It can help us  and others heal.  And hopefully, before you get too comfortable there, you'll wipe away your tears,  stand up, and head in the right direction, with Joy trailing right behind you.
"A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away..." - Ecclesiastes 3:4-6


  1. Thank you again and again, Holly, for hosting this sacred space for honestly sharing all kinds of emotions, which, as you point out, is healthy as long as we temper and rein the negative ones in--after they're served the good purposes you identified--and not let them have the last word, not let them overpower or overtake the positive, healthy ones. I love the video you referenced last week that showed complementary clips from the Passion of the Christ and the Nativity--sadness and joy, each having a rightful place, but in the end, as you said, all is gift, all is joy. To appreciate the real joy, I think we've got to appreciate, too, as you said, its cost. Hosting this site each week, I know, has a cost. May God reward you a hundredfold with His Joy! ...Holly and Joy! They go together, pointing to each other, you know! Merry Christmas!

  2. I must watch Inside Out over the holiday. I've heard it's brilliant. You do spread Joy! I think it's important for us to acknowledge and pay attention to all emotions, but just like food, moderation is key.

  3. Holly, I love your addition of a movie to exemplify how emotions can positively interplay with our life's journey. I like to think I have the face of joy (and positivity) but in truth, sadness and anger do have their turn. Being reflective, I do like to push the latter two aside and bring back the joy when I dip below the positivity barometer.

  4. You've given me a yen for "Inside Out." Must watch the whole thing.

    At Christmas especially, with its potential for highs and lows, it's probably good to be conscious of our emotional state. As you point out, so-called negative emotions can be catalysts for all kinds of positive outcomes. Thinking about it (where your post has me), I like the contrast of different emotions and how their variety sharpens our experience of life.

  5. "We know all this, but what if we considered our emotions as gifts?" So important for us to remember. Thank you, Holly.