What do we really want in our lives? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
One of my struggles I can often have is anxiety. There is always a state of fear at times hanging in the back of one’s mind and mine is so overwhelming that I am actively on anxiety medication for it. When it really hits home, all you want is to feel peace. Unfortunately, it can often be the case that the more you resist anxiety and try to pursue peace, the worse it gets.
Many times, we have people saying they want to feel the love of God and the peace of God. That is understandable, but are we really wanting the love of God or the peace of God then, or do we want the feelings of them? Keep in mind, feeling the love of God doesn’t mean that you are in the good graces of God. I do hold that God loves everyone, but that doesn’t mean that all are in the place to truly enjoy His love.
This is not to say one’s emotional state doesn’t matter, but we often treat it like it is primary. The goal in life is to feel peace instead of being a person of peace. I can often do something to do with my anxiety, but am I getting better at learning how to do proper thinking to avoid the anxiety? Should it even be the goal to avoid anxiety always? There are times anxiety is a good thing to have.
The same applies to states of depression and sadness. There are times that you ought to be depressed and sad. If you hear some really bad news, there is nothing wrong with feeling sad. You should. If you are a Christian and you know that you have sinned, you ought also to feel sad. If you are repenting of something, that should put you in a place of contrition.
What needs to be done more often is emotions in correspondence to reality. The emotion isn’t the goal. Living the way that we ought to isn’t the goal and when we reach that, we can have the emotion perhaps. If it’s a good emotion and it comes, we can enjoy it. If it’s a painful emotion, we can learn to work through it.
If we focus on getting rid of a feeling, then we could be going through the wrong focus. If we get instead hooked on a good feeling, we can keep going from item to item in our lives, rather it be a person or an object or anything else. This is why relationships that are romantic can often fail. If we make the emotions the goal, then when the emotion fails, we can think the relationship has failed.
All of this is still something I am working on. I am on medication for anxiety now and I do hope that someday I will be able to get off of it and process anxiety normally, and if you are on medication for something, I don’t have a problem with it, though I encourage you to get therapy at the same time, which I am doing.
Make sure you have the right focus. The focus is living properly in reality and being a good person. It is not on having or not having a feeling.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)