Feelings and Emotions in the Context of Shame

Feelings and Emotions in the Context of Shame

Thoughts
Feelings and Emotions and Moods, Oh My!   Is there a difference, or can we use whichever word we want?   Well, of course you can do what you like, but there are differences between these words.   The Effect of Affect   It all begins with affect. Nope, not effect...affect. Now, you may have some bad grammar experiences being called to mind right now. There's a place for that, but I'm not talking about the difference between effect and affect. I'm talking about a biological response to a situation that results in an emotional state. An affect, according to Donald Nathanson, is the biological side of a feeling. It's a feeling before you realize that it's a feeling.   Feelings...Nothing More Than Feelings   When you become aware of…
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Wearing Masks

Wearing Masks

Thoughts
TL/DR: The issue of wearing masks is not a matter of the head but of the heart.   What if the ongoing debates about masks aren't about individual freedoms? What if they have more to do with the human desire to escape shame and powerlessness? Think about it. What does a mask signify? It’s a symbol of vulnerability. It signals to ourselves and others that we have no control over life. A mask tells a story of sickness and frailty and how humans are, well, human.   What do most people want to be free from? Being controlled? I’m suggesting that we all want to be free from emotional distress. And a sense of control is a sure fire way to escape the distress of being powerless.   Life has…
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Technology and Emotional Health in a Global Pandemic

Technology and Emotional Health in a Global Pandemic

advice, Growth
Emotional Health is more important than ever. But technology...it seems vital. Technology is a blessing right now...and a curse. We can see medically fragile friends and relatives without endangering them. We can send out "I love you's" to people who we are not free to see face to face. But we can also lose connection - even while we're trying to maintain contact. We can actually increase loneliness as we are jumping on call after call. Here are a few suggestions to maintain emotional health while using technology during the current crisis. Use Technology for Connection Connection and contact are not the same thing. Right now we need to avoid physical contact. But it's easy to use technology to "check in" on people without fostering connection. If we're not careful…
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God’s Love in Times of Need

God’s Love in Times of Need

Growth, Thoughts
Does God love me when I'm needy? Of course He does, right? The New Testament has pages filled with this idea. 1 Peter 5: 5-7 is a great example:   But let all of you clothe yourselves with humility towards one another. You see, ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the lowly.’ Humble yourselves, then, under God’s powerful hand, so that he may lift you up at the right time. Throw all your care upon him, because he cares about you. So, why don't I 'throw all my cares on him'? Because I don't always believe that God loves me in the midst of my neediness. I think that He loves me in the midst of my performance. And He does. I think that He loves me in…
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Hurt and Shame in James 4

Hurt and Shame in James 4

Growth
"Hurt People hurt people." You may have heard it before, but why is it true? Chip Dodd explains this in a modified view of the trauma triangle:   The trauma triangle is an observable reality in most human experience. It's easy to remember in the form of a short story. A victim of trauma denies their own needs and ends up coping by harming another person. This creates a new victim.   Let's add characters:   Joe is a victim. He grew up being shamed by his mother. He has grown to believe that "being needy" is bad. His needs inconvenience people (namely his mother). He lives life bottling up his needs. He never expresses them to people — yet hopes that they will sense, know, and respond to his…
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All This Talk About Shame

All This Talk About Shame

Growth
But what is shame? It's has gotten a good deal of press lately. But there's a problem. We don't know what it is. Well, to be more precise, we don't know how to be ... well, precise. The main problem is our language. I don't mean the language we use about shame. I literally mean the English language! You see, shame is more than one thing. For starters, it's is a feeling. My kids call it "feeling embarrassed." And that makes sense. We often experience shame when we're embarrassed about something we said or did. This is especially true when we ask ourselves, "So, is there something wrong with me?" That question often evokes other feelings. We don't like coming face to face with our limitations and weaknesses. So, we…
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Feelings and Intuitive Thinkers

Feelings and Intuitive Thinkers

Growth, Thoughts
As an intuitive thinker, when was the last time you sat down and asked yourself, "What am I feeling right now?" Maybe you do this all the time. But I'm guessing, as a fellow intuitive thinker, that your feelings are not exactly on the tip of your consciousness—though they definitely live way down deep inside of you. In short, do feelings and intuitive thinkers go hand in hand? Until recently, that was never for me. I was emotionally unreflective. Which is ironic, because I'm a reflective person. I'm a reflective learner. I'm an intuitive thinking introvert, for crying out loud! But, alas, unreflective emotionally. In effect, I was growing mentally—you know, acquiring knowledge in the quest to slay all intellectual dragons and obstacles. But I was not growing emotionally. But,…
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Maturity Isn’t Needing Less

Maturity Isn’t Needing Less

Thoughts
I've been wrong about a lot. I didn't think the Braves would ever win a World Series. I didn't think that skinny jeans would ever catch on. I thought that I would never want a Smartphone. I've definitely missed a LOT of marks. Of course, when it comes to the weightier matters of life, I've definitely been wrong. One of the areas where I have deceived myself has been in the area of maturity. I'm convinced that I have been wrong about Christian growth and maturity for many years. How so? When we're young, we're told that "growing up" is about doing things alone. Self-Sufficiency is the goal. You go to the bathroom "all by yourself."You tie your shoe "all by yourself."You shower, go to bed, and get up in…
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Struggling Side-by-Side

Struggling Side-by-Side

Thoughts
I don’t like to struggle. Not. At. All. Ask anyone who has ever seen me in a gym (There are very few who have!). If there’s a struggle bus, I’m the first to get off it! But struggle (or in New Testament language, “suffering”) is necessary for growth. It makes sense, right? No pain, no gain. You have to “feel the burn!” There’s supposed to be a “good kind of sore” when you workout. (I don’t know these things personally. It’s what I hear.) But in spiritual growth, why don’t we expect pain? Why don’t we expect to ache? Why don’t we expect the bumps and bruises of spiritual development? I mean, we may expect to experience struggle and suffering in life. We aren't surprised by the loss of a job…
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