Emotions. Community. Connection.
These are words I do not fully understand, or appreciate. I've always felt the odd man out... as though, even sitting in the middle of a group of "friends", I was looking in from the outside. All these people belong here, but I don't.
I've attempted to find and access these words over time... nearly always falling short. I can count the males (whom I'm not related to) that I would willingly (and easily) pick up the telephone and call just to say hello... on one hand. And I rarely even do that.
So then, during a recent research session for my project, I came across the topic of Emotional Intelligence.
Then I came across this post "Signs that you lack emotional intelligence".
Here are some of the telltale signs that you need to work on your emotional intelligence:
- You often feel like others don’t get the point and it makes you impatient and frustrated.
- You’re surprised when others are sensitive to your comments or jokes and you think they’re overreacting.
- You think being liked at work is overrated.
- You weigh in early with your assertions and defend them with rigor.
- You hold others to the same high expectations you hold for yourself.
- You find others are to blame for most of the issues on your team.
- You find it annoying when others expect you to know how they feel.
Wait... were they saying that agreeing with these statements was a potentially bad thing?!!!
Here are four strategies.... You'll have to click on the link and read the article.
I find many human interactions (most especially those that involve emotions, either mine or the other persons) incredibly tedious... and mostly irrelevant. I would gladly discuss the merits of Star Trek vs Stargate, Marvel vs D.C., world history, current events, financial news, hard sciences, eschatology, or even the merits of an Extreme Ironing hobby (yes that's a real thing)... Anything but discussing my own emotional state...or yours.
Emotions are the source of most of the wrong decisions people make in life. I personally view emotions much the same way the Vulcan's do (like Spock). I experience them more intensely than most, so I'd prefer not to have them at all. If you ask me to discuss my feelings, it actually causes a physical headache.
The Lie: Emotions are dangerous, tedious, irrelevant.
During Kairos I learned something that radically changed my mindset about life. Every recurring repetitive negative behavior or pattern can be tied to a lie you are believing. This lie causes you to seek comfort or defense (which is usually the behaviour or pattern you are trying to get rid of). That comfort and/or defense you seek causes an event that reinforces the lie. And so a stronghold is built. (I wrote about that here).
Many times you do not recognize the lie as a lie, because it's been reinforced through experience after experience. Many times you are tempted to see the lie as having come from the experience, rather than being the root of the experience. The one thing you can more easily identify; is, the comfort or defense you run to when the lie comes to you.
If you will take the time to Be Still and Be Led, God will show you what lie you are believing. Many times, He does this though showing you an event in your life that is tied to that lie. It may be the first event that the enemy used to speak that lie to you for the first time, or it may just be an event that crystallizes that lie in a way that it makes it easier to see it for what it is.
When I ask, where did these ideas come from:
(Emotions. Community. Connection.) -- are -- (Irrelevant. Tedious.)
One event comes to mind. A surprise party. It's been a source of humorous contention for years in my family. As I recall it from my perspective, I was turning 13. I had already been a loner personality for the years leading up to that event. So my desire to keep a distance from Community and Connection were WELL developed already and didn't start here.
I asked for one thing. One thing. To Be Alone. No friends. No Party. No Big Event. And most especially No Surprise Party!
I wanted to spend the morning shopping with birthday money, and then go to my room for the rest of the day. My mom and I went shopping. I came home. She asked me to go to the garage to get something, and when I opened the door there were...
... lots of people.
In my memory there were 50 people. It might have only been 15 I don't know. I recall being in shock as they yelled surprise... and I experienced ANGER.
I recall turning around, walking down the hall, and to my room, and stayed there for a long time... as I planned. Eventually I came out of that room. I pretended to be a part of the party. But I made a decision.
Emotions are irrelevant.
It's your job to be the big man, put on your smile, and preform for the crowd. Just like the Deaconess at the church told me a few years before, as the Pastors Son I needed to be a better example for the kids, even the ones older than me. Here again, I must perform for the crowds in my fish bowl.
And from that day forward I did. I performed on the platform at Churches on worship bands, I performed for the crowds that surrounded me in two high schools and college. I performed for friends doing things I shouldn't have done. I tried to perform in a quasi-pastoral role as President of the Christian Club on Campus. Over and over I found one constant... I was inadequate. I was irrelevant.
Then one day... I stopped performing for the crowds. I turned off the machine. I went home. And I never looked for the crowds again. Oh, I made a few halfhearted attempts to join a small group here or there. But for the most part I avoided: Community. Connection. And that way I could avoid those awful Emotions.
From that day to this, I avoid emotions, community, connections... Other events reinforced this believe. Other events preceded this belief (which is why I'd already decided to be alone that day in the first place). But something about that event shows all the components in one place for open analysis.
The Truth: ???
God has emotions. Everything we are, came from Him. He feels more deeply than any human could ever conceive of feeling.
The feelings that wash over you when a sunset or sunrise catch you by surprise in awe. The feelings of humor in the cloud shapes you see. The moving nature of music. The rush of young love. The power of a new mother holding her child.
These are all from the heart of God.
It's unfortunate that sin ever came. In order for man to freely and truly experience the deep pleasures that God himself experiences, he must have free will. He cannot be a robot, or automaton.
As a result, the deep pleasure God experiences is as boundless as the deepness of the pain He is also capable of experiencing.
No man will ever experience the deepness of the pain God experiences when Adam rejected his Word, or when men thought they were killing his Son.
And no man will ever experience the complete deepness of His JOY when one of those sons of Adam return to him as adopted sons through the Last Adam!
The truth is that emotions can hurt. Community and Connection can leave you open to those hurts. But they are not irrelevant... although... they may be tedious... they may.... maybe.... might be...
Is it possible that emotions, community, and connection are worth the tediousness... and just maybe... are relevant to real life??
Hey... this is new for me. I'm willing to be willing... to be willing... to... see what God would do in me from here.
Maybe I'll read this one year from now, and be SHOCKED at just how far I've come.
In other words... will I #BeStillBeLed?
And now I leave you with a question:
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