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Speak to Us of Feelings

By Dianne Witte

I just “love” it when I get a new perspective on something, a different way of seeing a situation or even a person. Reminds me of a quote from Dale Carnegie that I learned years ago: “Two men looked out from prison bars. One saw mud, the other stars.”

A new perspective I got recently is that Jesus was a very passionate person. In thinking about it, I guess he had to be, to stay focused on his mission. He was passionate when he talked to his disciples, for example, at the Last Supper, “As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” (John 13:27) How do you think Jesus felt when he said that? For that matter, how did Judas feel afterwards?

Later, at the Garden of Gethsemane, we often focus on the agony he experienced, but he expressed a certain passion when he went to his disciples and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour?” And later he went back again, and even a third time, and they were sleeping. Do you suppose he was expressing an overwhelming feeling of betrayal? Or what?

Another example of how Jesus had human feelings is in the Temple when he turned over the tables of the money changers.  When you think about it, he must have been pretty angry to do something like that. He did lots of damage, he directed his anger at real people, it was personal to a point. In another story, we hear how “Jesus wept for Lazarus.” All in all, it seems Jesus was an emotional human, who expressed his emotions.

I hadn’t seen this side of Jesus before; makes it more clear to me how human he was. Just like me, he felt anger and betrayal and a sense of things not being fair. Sometimes it seems the only emotion that is politically correct in our society is happiness, or some variation. What about our personal pain? Do we project it on to the world and let the immigrants or prisoners, etc. be a surrogate for our pain?

On the other hand, we don’t often see love freely expressed, either, except in dramas perhaps. Recently, I’ve realized I don’t always sign notes or greeting cards with “love,” because something is holding me back. I usually wonder if the person will take it the wrong way. I don’t mean it in a romantic (eros) way; it’s more the other kinds of love, like philia or storge or ludus. In fact, according to the Ancient Greeks there are eight different kinds of love. Food for thought.

This is the Age of Aquarius, time to realize we all have feelings we’re trying to suppress because we don’t want it to appear we are out of control. In the news daily, people are held up for shame because they expressed their feelings. How did you feel when you saw Christine Blasey Ford crying during the hearings of Justice Kavanaugh? “For that matter, how did you feel when Brett Kavanaugh expressed his anger?” Feelings are real; it’s only when we don’t express them that they build up and result in a real disaster, like a shooting or depression and suicide. There are ways to express feelings that allow them to be released without harm to others. Let’s quit acting like people in “Valley of the Dolls” and be REAL.

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