Our emotions are strange beasts. They operate on a continuum—in grief, for instance, from denial to acceptance. They also operate in a circular fashion—as we come back to the same emotions, invoked by the same or similar circumstances, time and again throughout our lives. Just when we thought we had learned a vital lesson, again it comes back, albeit in a slightly different way. God is humbling us to learn of it still.
The circular effect of emotions carries us off into many varieties of wilderness. And through our emotions the Promised Land, if we attend correctly, is realised. It is important we experience emotional release, but just as important is acceptance of all our circumstances.
Emotional release may be crucial in reaching acceptance.
Acceptance of this Circular Effect
It is too easy to feel ashamed of falling for the same emotional traps. We feel guilty for having had our own private pity party—when apparently we knew better. The trouble is that the guilt that follows only makes us feel worse, not better.
It is better, by far, to accept the circular effect in our emotions. Many seasons of life we walk the wilderness trail; around and around and around we go, searching for an answer. Many times there is no answer, just perseverance.
It can be seen that, because we are who we are, we will feel the way we will feel.
If we feel anguish at being betrayed or rejected or we feel lonely because we are lonely, many future circumstances that are in a similar vein will test us in the same ways. Much of how we react is predictable.
We too easily get frustrated by coming back through the same passages of our emotions; a sense of déjà vu is implied. We might otherwise see that God is just reminding us we will never be totally in control of our circumstances which enliven the emotions. Our response is the key and we know it.
Whenever our circumstances lead us to enjoy life we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves emotionally. Likewise, whenever our circumstances become deplorable we shouldn’t be further anguished by our lack of capacity to bear these emotions. Better is the middle ground. It is better just to accept the circular effect of the emotions. It is better to allow the emotion take place, and then move on.
Emotions come with circumstances. As the circumstances of life are circular, so too are our emotions circular, also. Accepting this is one way we can learn in order to predict our emotional response in order to react better. Many circumstances are tests.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.