I have recently had the privilege of making a new friend—let’s call him Vernon. Vernon is a well-traveled, well-read, and retired neurosurgeon who led the field of neurosurgery for much of his working life. He is truly a scientist down to his toes and everything must have a rational, scientific explanation…even if science hasn’t caught up to articulating it yet.
So, imagine my surprise when he started asking me questions about GOD! In these his later years, he is searching for he knows-not-what. His very busy mind is driving him crazy because he has not been able to align his rational thinking with this deep question mark that seems to be hanging over his head. Having traveled around the world and enjoyed much of the finer things of life, he finds himself asking, “so what? Is this it? Is there more?”
Of course, questions like these are right up my alley. Our spirituality is nothing if it doesn’t somehow respond to the questions of meaning in our lives. Questions like WHY AM I even HERE? As we have talked more about this subject it struck me that Vernon never spoke much about how situations or circumstances or even people made him feel. He had a myriad of thoughts about these things, but no feelings about them.
If you are living the human experience, and you are if you’re reading this reflection, you have feelings that are reflections of the emotive experience of being alive. All of life is energy and emotions are simply energy-in-motion. That is why Fear…a strong emotion has a self-conscious and reflective side to it which can be articulated. If we find we cannot express our feelings, we are allowing these strong emotions to get stuck within us which have been shown to make us physically sick or sicker.
As Vernon and I have spent time together talking about this GOD-thing even more, I have come to realize that life’s experiences are to be felt as well as considered with the mind or thought about. In other words, to block off our feelings shuts off a part of our aliveness…and dare I say it, separates us from GOD. You and I are meant to both think and feel. It is who and what we are.
So, what do we do with difficult feelings like fear, sadness, anger, guilt, or shame to name a few? We certainly don’t pretend they are not there. Try this. We can close our eyes and discern where in our body this feeling sits; cradle it with compassion and love; and watch its transmutation. It will change. Try it and see. Learning to process our emotions in this way is very calming to our nervous systems and is overall beneficial to our lives.
Vernon and I are learning together that we can experience GOD through our feelings more deeply than we can through what we can intellectually speak about GOD. The Divine, after all is to be experienced in this school of LIFE. At the end of the day, it is about learning to express gratitude for the experience of being alive—right here and right now. So how do YOU feel today?
Holding You in LIGHT!