Wonderful or Wonder-empty
"Behold, You [God] desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom."1
Some people you meet are very warm, genuine and connected. Others seem to be cold and distant. Their life seems rather flat line, dull, and even boring. I'm not talking about times of sickness, sadness or sorrow but this is how they are much or most of the time.
Why are some people like the latter group? One of a number of reasons is because they are repressed in their emotional life. Chances are that they grew up with a sense that emotions—especially negative emotions—were not acceptable, so they learned early in life to bury and deny them. Or they may have been hurt deeply as a child and found that they had to stuff their emotions in order to survive. It may sound crude but it is a fact of life that the stuff we stuff stuffs up our lives. This can cause all sorts of emotional, physical, relational and/or spiritual problems.
Emotions are God-given and are a vital part of a healthy, mature life. We are not talking about emotionalism which is a cover of true emotions. We are talking about being connected to our inner self and being in touch with all of our God-given emotions. If my emotions are buried and I am disconnected from them and my inner self, I cannot be truly connected to anyone else or to God at any kind of intimate level. At best, my relationships will be very shallow.
Furthermore, when emotions are repressed, instead of life being wonder-full, it may be wonder-empty. As such I will characteristically be bored with life.
If one’s life is wonder-empty, how do we overcome? How do we get connected to our inner self? In younger days my emotions were very much buried. I was doing all the right things outwardly but inwardly I felt very empty and, among other things, was disconnected to my emotion of wonder. Much of this was caused by growing up in a very dysfunctional family. I was taught that you couldn’t trust your emotions, but my life was so empty that I got down on my knees and asked God to give me my emotions back anyhow. Whew, God answered in a way that was the exact opposite of what I expected. My world fell apart. I was rejected by the most important person in my life and felt torn apart. But this was the beginning of getting in touch with all my emotions and my inner-self and learning to live and love again.
It took a long time and a lot of counseling but I can truly say that life for me has never been better. I am physically healthier than I was at half my age and my life is filled with love, loving relationships, and fulfillment.
Apparently Renoir, the famous artist, kept painting in his older years even though he was in great physical pain. In relating to Renoir’s suffering his friend, Matisse, said to him, "Why do you keep painting when you are in so much pain?" to which Renoir replied, "The pain passes but the beauty remains!" And so it is with us, if we commit and trust our life to God and ask Him to confront us with our reality so that we become fully connected to our inner self, we may go through some very painful experiences (that are often needed to break through our defenses) but, in time, our pain will pass but the beauty of our life will last forever.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in keeping with Your desire please help me to be connected to my inner self and always be honest with myself and with You, and thus grow up into the fullness of my salvation. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Psalm 51:6 (NASB).