I haven’t been able to attend the Feast as regularly as I wanted for some time since last year. So I’ve been REALLY looking forward to this Sunday’s Feast. I was lucky to have listened to two great speakers – the main speaker is Bo Sanchez and he was joined by Obet Cabrillas.
Today is the first among a series of talks every week. They taught us how to manage toxic feelings.
Talk 1: Detoxify Feelings
Why do we get sick?
There are many reasons why we get sick. But we can simplify the answer to two reasons: One cause is Toxic Food. When we eat the wrong food, we get sick. The other common cause is, Toxic Feelings. When we do not deal with our feelings in the right way, it can lead to disease. When we are sick, the body is crying for Change in your life.
Toxic feelings are not the only causes of disease, but they can lead to illness. The following are examples:
Hopelessness causes Lung problems;
Rigidity can cause migraine;
Lying causes alcoholism (the liar knows he is a liar so he drowns it in alcohol);
Anger causes insomnia (Try getting really angry and then see if you can sleep at night);
Aggressiveness causes gastric discomfort;
Conflict causes thyroid enlargement;
Jealousy causes cancer;
Anxiety causes skin diseases;
Guilt causes skin diseases and chronic infection;
And there can be a very long list of diseases that can be caused by certain toxic feelings. However, it is possible to control our poisonous feelings.
Three ways to deal with toxic feelings:
1) Feel your emotions – allow yourself to feel the pain; don’t deny it. In our culture of denial kings and queens, we’ve been hoodwinked into believing that it is wrong to admit that you can feel emotions other than joy. We can feel pain, shame, guilt or anger. It is right to allow ourselves to feel. Feel the emotion in the presence of God. God is always with you. Breathe in His presence. Emotions are TEACHERS. They are teaching you something. If you feel anger for example, the emotion is teaching you that you have a wound. This wound originated from the conditional loving that you got from your parents when you were young. For example, they told you that you are favored only if you performed well in school; or they withdrew their attention when you didn’t follow what they wanted you to do. Parents are supposed to emulate God’s example in loving their children. The right way to love our children is to make them know that they are loved no matter what. You are amazing as you are. God loves you unconditionally, regardless of your imperfections, or your failures, or your mistakes, or your fears. Emotions are HEALERS. Allow yourself to be angry in the presence of God. When you feel your anger, it is healing you because you are acknowledging your pain. You are accepting yourself. You are loving yourself. And LOVE HEALS.
After you allow yourself to feel your negative emotions, allow them to have an expiry date. Do not let it fester like a wound that never heals. Go through your grief but you must decide that it will not persist.
2) Own your emotions. Some people say that other people made them angry. Or parents may say that their children made them really angry. That is NOT true. No one made you angry. You allowed yourself to be angry. You need to own your emotions otherwise; you will become a puppet of your emotions. There was an experiment by Dr. Michael Hall on the worst criminals in the country. He instructed them to try to make him angry without touching him physically. The hardened crooks, full of anger themselves gave it all they’ve got. They rained insults and all sorts of verbal abuse to the depths of hell until they were exhausted. But Dr. Hall remained calm and unaffected. He was uninsultable.
3) Control your emotions. Dr. Hall’s experiment went on to teach the convicts that it is possible to control their emotions. He instructed them to rant full force and then to gradually reduce the level of seething and screaming until they eventually calmed down. The result? Dr. Hall successfully taught the worst criminals that it is possible not to slug anyone at the slightest provocation. It is possible to control your emotions.
There are Four Main Emotions:
To manage your emotions, you need to Energize them.
When Sad, you need to remember that according to Proverbs 4:23, above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
When Mad, you need to energize Righteousness. The person who gave this portion of the talk used to be a frat man in a university. Whenever there was trouble, he was the one called to settle the score. But by the Grace of God, he has been transformed from the hit man to a disciple of God. One day, he brought his family to the park. During meal time, he chose a particular spot for the family, but while he was laying down the food, a tattooed, muscular man told him to choose another spot as it was taken. Normally, his response should have been to just hit the other guy in the face. But having become one of the leaders of the charismatic group, he exercised temperance and moved to another place, but the same man again told him it was taken. Biting his tongue and checking his temper, he again gathered their belongings and just screamed blessings toward the man, silently.
When Glad, energize SERVICE. Happy people express this best by helping others. Engage in an activity that will help the community. Serve.
When Scared, energize CAUTION. Fear heightens our senses. Use that to anticipate situations and think of possible solutions.
And lastly, remember the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
“Make me a channel of Your Peace
Where there is hatred, let me bring Your Love;
Where there is injury, Your Pardon, Lord
Where there is doubt, true Faith in You
Make me a channel of Your Peace
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring Hope
Where there is darkness, only Light
And where there’s sadness, ever Joy
O Master grant that I may never seek, so much to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul.
Make me a channel of Your Peace
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
It is in giving to men that we receive
And in dying that we are born to eternal life.”
If that doesn’t work, try this:
The Serenity Prayer
God grant me serenity
To accept things I cannot change
Courage, to change things I can
And wisdom to know the difference. Amen.