Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Need to Trust my WHAT?!

Recently as I was talking with a priest friend, he said something that really stunned me. He said, "Marie, you need to learn to trust your feelings." I think I physically jerked my neck back. I repeated the words out loud. It was as if he'd told me I'd look great with a rose bush blooming out of my nose.

I have done a lot of things with my feelings over the years, but it struck me then that using the verb "trust" in relation to them is completely foreign to me. Doesn't trusting one's feelings lead to irrational decisions? Doesn't it mean one is carrying around by whims of fancy, today going one way, tomorrow some other way? Don't feelings always lead us to baser desires, to laziness, to gluttony? Don't we have minds to free us from the tyranny of doing what we feel like doing by choosing what is right instead?

Thoughts like these sprang up immediately as I pondered his statement.

But I realized he was not speaking in general terms, he was speaking to me. Obviously he was not advising living based on emotion, only to allow emotions to stand on proverbial level ground with all of the other facets that make up my soul, and to no longer be made to sit crouching outside the back door, whimpering for table scraps and hoping for a chance to come in a get warm now and then.

This prospect is so fascinating that I can't help but write about it.

I am rather cerebral and logical. If I can see how a series of facts lines up in logical order, it gives me a sense of peace. But I do, I know, run the risk of shutting out my heart, my gut, my feelings from this process. And this makes my sense of peace, of completion, incomplete. I see that now.

Trust my feelings. I almost need to say this over and over to myself, just to get used to the feeling of the words in my mouth and the concept in my heart. They are not the final boss. They do not contradict reason. Jesus is far surer than my reason, my feelings or my heart. He is Certainty. I am finite, and shifting. But within my finite, shifting, growing, imperfect little heart, I need to trust my feelings, this capacity which Christ Himself created within me, so that the mechanism He has created for me to discern His will and follow it can function smoothly.



shana sfo said...

This is interesting to me because for a long, long time I was just the opposite - trusting entirely to feelings but didn't think too deeply about anything.

Both extremes get one in trouble!

I think a lot more now, measure my feelings against the facts I know and see if they still lead me in the same direction.

One thought I had as I read your piece - place your emotions in the care of our Blessed Lady of Grace, and ask for her help to discern them while you learn to incorporate them into your thinking and actions.

Pax et Bonum! shana

Marie said...

Thanks, Shana. Our Lady is my constant go-to source for anything remotely challenging to me that involves emotions or relationships. She is most faithful in delivering the help that I need. Sometimes I wish it could all just be mine in a "snap" without actually needing to live through the processes that produce the change. Hardly realistic, I know. I guess that's the humility thing of the Now and the Not Yet.