Saturday, July 12, 2008

Feelin' Good

Folks, I'm happy to report: I'm feeling really good today. Even though this week was stressful at work, even after the temp fiasco, even though the weather forecast calls for thunderstorms today, I feel surprisingly steady and optimistic.

I have noticed significant changes in myself within the past two weeks. Ever since I recovered from my mini-freak-out, I feel that I've been moving from strength to strength. And it's coming from a very unexpected source.

Keep in mind that while I am immersing myself in Christian writings, podcasts, TV shows, and prayer, there is still a large and active portion of skepticism in my mind. I spent 35 years doubting and questioning. That doesn't go away overnight. I'll always be the type of person to examine and test every concept before I accept it. And I'm really used to dismissing anything related to religion as a bunch of hot air.

So even though I'm reading, listening, or watching, my inner skeptic sits back with its feet up, making its presence known. Sometimes I stop and ask myself: Am I really doing this? Do I really believe? Are these feelings just wishful thinking? I'm incapable of swallowing new ideas hook, line, and sinker, even if I wanted to.

Despite this mistrust, I find that the material is having an impact on me. I feel stronger, more confident, peaceful, and centered.

I might make fun of the Bible while I read it, or pay imperfect attention to it because Ken has the TV on and it's distracting my attention, but when I put that book down, I'm always amazed by how good I feel. I don't especially enjoy reading it the way I enjoy my regular books. I don't know how the feeling of contentment sneaks up on my while I'm reading. It only takes a couple of passages and I'll feel the effect. I have to say: it seems there really is something there beyond the words and the paper. It's certainly not something that I expected or even hoped for.

It's very weird.

The same thing happens with other material. I get something out of it that my intellectual mind wants to reject. It's beyond my rational understanding.

Prayer is even more powerful. I might not find the words of certain prayers to be aesthetically pleasing, or expressive of my own particular feelings, but reciting them, especially aloud, draws feelings into my heart, seemingly out of the blue.

My rational mind balks at the illogic, but my heart welcomes these new feelings. I have a significantly increased ability to deal with stress, and I'm much more likely to speak my mind with confidence. Hey, it works! I can't argue with that logic.


Anonymous said...

Right On!

Warped Mind of Ron said...

If these things make you feel better then it is good. Keep an open mind and find comfort in what makes sense to you.

Keera Ann Fox said...

I too can be skeptical, and want proof. I think that's a healthy approach. Because I do find a lot of stuff worth believing in, some (more skeptical) folks don't think I'm rational. :-)

I subscribe to a spiritual magazine with daily meditations, and have noticed that if I skip a couple of days, my mood starts to deteriorate; I start to get restless, like I'm missing something. I think you and I are discovering that what the Bible says is true: Man does not live by bread alone (Matthew 4:4). We need spiritual sustenance. It really does make a difference when you get it.

Jenski said...

The only thing I have to say is that it is wonderful you see and feel how much of a difference your explorations are having in your daily life! Wonderful!

Nilsa S. said...

Isn't it great to find that balance in your life. To find those resources that help pull you through tough times? You seem to be making many breakthroughs. Impressive!

jameil1922 said...

yay for feeling good! there's nothing like reading a passage that makes everything bad seem like a distant unimportant memory. man the bible gets me sometimes! i love it!

Kell said...

I admire you. That's really wonderful that you are looking into something that has never been of interest to you, and you're doing it with balance. You accept how it makes you feel and you accept that you still have questions and can be skeptical. I think it's important to question. You're feeling good, and that's what matters.

Claire said...

Thinking of you and praying for you, hon. And a little scepticism is par for the course, I find!


Dianne said...

I admire how open your mind and heart are.

Aurora said...

Well that's lovely to hear!
And I think there's nothing wrong with wishful thinking, if it cheers you up.