Thursday, December 27, 2007

how do you feel?

I'm back! We took a full 4 days off and did important things like eat, sleep, read, play, talk, and give and receive. It is good and necessary to set aside the burden of work and responsibility for a time and simply be. Selah.

Last week I came across a quote on another's blog, and it rang true with me. Here it is:

I have come to believe that it is important to personally learn and to teach people how to feel skillfully. I believe that there is far more information and awareness in feeling than there is in thinking. Certain forms of rational debate can point out the absurdity of different beliefs, but this fails if the person lacks the intelligence to understand the argument. And yet even the most simple can recognize when they have been insulted. And it seems the most simple often understand when they are being loved and how to return love more skillfully than their "intelligent" counterparts. - Richard Harty, www.whatisspiritual.blogspot.com

I am a feeler. I have spent much of my life trying to figure out what to do with my strong emotions. How to mature in them. I have also been blessed to befriend rational people who are gifted thinkers and they have challenged and guided me in developing my ability to discern inconsistencies and wrong patterns of thought and of equal importance, to be able to provide good reasons for what I believe and see my life within the bigger picture of truth.

However, some of my wonderful rational friends seem somewhat underdeveloped in the area of feeling and are often uncomfortable or at a loss when they encounter strong emotions in others. And I do not believe it should be so. There are plenty of courses on apologetics and debate that encourage us to develop rational and consistent thought, but I have never heard of someone teaching us how to feel well, to experience life deeply and richly, and to discover truth in the midst of our emotions. It is true: the simplest among us are often those who love the most skillfully, and we can and should learn from them.

Do you feel well? Do you emote skillfully? This might be a seminar I should develop. Any suggestions or insights welcome.

This is a photo of our intimate Christmas dinner on Sunday night: African Peanut soup, Angus steak, and onion roasted potatoes.

1 comment:

shane magee said...

couldn't agree more matte. as the riter to the ephesians puts it i pray "that you may know this love that surpasses knowledge" - that you may know otherwise than by knowing.

this doesn't dismiss rationality of course, merely humbles it and reminds it of its place.