Sunday, March 8, 2009

What We Feel is Not Who We Are

What We Feel is Not Who We Are

"Our emotional lives move up and down constantly. Sometimes we experience great mood: swings from excitement to depression, from joy to sorrow, from inner harmony to inner chaos. A little event, a word from someone, a disappointment in work, many things can trigger such mood swings. Mostly we have little control over these changes. It seems that they happen to us rather than being created by us.

Thus it is important to know that our emotional life is not the same as our spiritual life. Our spiritual life is the life of the Spirit of God within us. As we feel our emotions shift we must connect our spirits with the Spirit of God and remind ourselves that what we feel is not who we are. We are and remain, whatever our moods, God's beloved children."

~Henri Nouwen

Henri's words about depression breathe hope into a subject that has been mistakenly often times characterized as a condition that exists because of a lack of faith or prayer. I find this ridiculous! Jesus was a man of sorrows, Jesus felt forsaken, misunderstood, and alone, and yet in the midst of these feelings, Jesus did not forget who He was. That is the whole point. Depression is a awful one, if you have ever looked into its seemingly endless black hole ... but it does not define who we are. That is Nouwen's conclusion, and mine as well. In the darkest night, in the blackest moment, there is Truth ... Light. I do not need to deny what I feel, but I do not need to let what I feel define who I am...

Just wanted to share that ...

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