Revelatory Emotions

editing documentI must admit that I was a bit taken aback with a phrase in my last post and its implications that I might find God annoying. At such times, I am torn between honesty and the threat of heresy. Somehow, I think that God prefers honesty. In any case … in all cases … I must rest upon that very grace that sometimes seems annoying.

It made me reflect on how our emotions can teach. Julia Cameron, in The Artist’s Way, tells us that our anger can alert us to the fact that one of our boundaries has been crossed. Perhaps annoyance reveals my expectations, my sense of entitlement and privilege, which are too often obscured by the very pride that set them in place. The positive emotions can also inform.  The rush of hope can be instructive, as it shows me where my heart is anchored – the home of my deepest desires.

Sometimes when I am in a quandary, I flip a coin – not to decide, but to reveal my emotional tone when I see the result.  If I am disappointed, I know the decision I should make and I go the other way. My emotions are often wiser than my over-fraught mind.

But emotions must be taught. They must be shaped toward the better frame – the right boundaries – the better self perception. One tool for that sculpting is meditation, which can move my boundaries and reveal my mistaken assumptions of privilege – showing me that life is not so much about holding my own as about embracing the other.

The true task of life – or at least a true task – is the shaping of a soul – the enlarging of a self – to make room for heaven.

Of course, that is not easy.  It is often hard to read yourself. It takes an honest mirror. Meditation and the flash of emotion can provide that mirror for me. What – or who – is your honest mirror?

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[photo “Editing a Paper” by Nic McPhee per cc 2.0; Cameron, The Artists’s Way]

1 thought on “Revelatory Emotions

  1. I’ve done the coin toss thing as well and for exactly the same reasons: it helps me get a better idea of what I’m really thinking and feeling about a given decision. It’s as though it the random action of the coin gives space for my own truth to emerge and then I can deal with it more mindfully. Good words here, Celia. Thank you for posting them.


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