There are a lot of big feelings right now, aren’t there?
Longing, anxiety, trepidation, confusion, anger… all these and more mixed in with tangible moments of joy and connection.
They are all there, but do we really allow ourselves to feel them?
Often I, and I’m sure lots of parents of young kids, get to witness all of those emotions well up in a very small window of time in my boys. Little kids are so much better at just expressing how they feel right when they feel it. I mean the tantrums drive me up a wall and the way they can get that high pitched squeal just right makes me bodily cringe every time, but they are doing it. They are expressing everything they feel right there for me to see and in some ways I envy them for how they can just give into the emotion as they have it – whether that is joy or sadness, excitement or fear. It’s just all right there to see.
They let it all just happen to them as it comes.
Now of course we probably wouldn’t get very far if we reverted back to our five year old selves… and who would take care of the mess of kid emotions if we did. But there is something to be said about letting ourselves feel this moment – there are healthy ways to feel after all.
Experiencing the beauty and the terror of it… it might just change us for the better.
This morning I’m using this poem by Rainer Maria Rilke as my prayer. It invites us to allow ourselves to feel, to believe that no feeling is final, and to know that God is holding our hand through all of it.
“God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.”