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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Welcome to the Wonderful World of Feelings

Updated on July 6, 2015

Somethings just do not care about your feelings.

Signs are not designed to accommodate how we are feeling on a given day.
Signs are not designed to accommodate how we are feeling on a given day. | Source

Feelings are messy

If we could get rid of feelings the world would be a much simpler place. There we said it right to begin with and right up front. Make no mistake about it and have no qualms as to the truth of this matter. Feelings complicate and make messy every single aspect of human life. Feelings make a round peg square just as we are about to insert it into a round hole. Feelings cause delay and the unplanned expenditure of all of our energy. Feelings create an atmosphere where pure logic is not the king of the day. Feelings are a free radical and unpredictable and impossible to anticipate with any certainty. It would be very easy to get down and out nasty mean about feelings. That is of course if we did not have any feelings.

We can all envision the tyrannical boss or coach yelling at us that he just does not give a darn about our feelings. We can just see the caricature of the drill sergeant pounding into us mamsy pamsies to check our feelings at the door because we have a job to do and there ain’t no room for feelings on the battle field of war. And sadly we can see the soccer coach “dad” demanding of his child to stop crying and get his head in the game.

Oh my, how many relationships have been ruined or stressed out by our inability to communicate in a positive way about our feelings. Yes both the speaking and the listening side of communication are woefully lacking in their ability to make understood, feelings. And the absolute worst is when a linear thinking “scientific” type guy is internally confronted with his feelings. There just isn’t any common ground.

So why is this sermon entitled “The Wonderful World of Feelings”? Let us take a spiritual look at feelings and show them a little appreciation.

Well we just had to put this song in here and it is pretty. But it gives me a strange feeling.

Hmmm? Probably happy that someone is giving him their full attention.

Perhaps we are not born a blank slate. Perhaps we are born with feelings. Are those eyes crossed?
Perhaps we are not born a blank slate. Perhaps we are born with feelings. Are those eyes crossed? | Source

Just imagine for a moment

We see people all the time that are engrossed in their work. We think nothing of it if a person makes a living "being a". What would you think of someone who spent all their time studying feelings? Other than a lunatic and poor, what would you call them?

Developing a manner of talking about feelings.

“Feelings are not emotions”. Personally I think that that statement has a lot of holes in it. The point in placing it here though is to thought evoke. If we look at feelings and emotions as different for a moment it helps guide us in understanding the nature of both. Feelings are organic and a part of our very soul. Emotions are learned responses to external stimuli. Let us let that simmer in our brains for a moment and come back to it.

Death and feelings or is it death and emotions? Probably quite distinguishably both. A good man recently wrote an article about the death of a quail and dovetailed that poignant moment into a questioning and heightening our awareness of the value of all life. In his wonderful writing style he bemoaned the loss of a small animal and let us see an inside view of how it affected him. In reading the article one could feel the raw sadness that a loss of life in something can cause. The article can be found here: http://billybuc.hubpages.com/hub/A-Quail-Died-Yesterday-A-Moment-with-Bill-Reflection#comment-16504443 At the moment of reading it we were working on an article about dealing with death. The article had such an impact that we realized we must first review the notions of feelings before being able to rightly tackle death. Death is merely an example here to give us a point of relation.

Back to our delineating between feelings and emotions. In experiencing the death of another, we encounter both feelings and emotions. Through a long history passed from generation to generation we have come to an understanding that when the biological rhythm of blood coursing through our veins and electrical impulses firing in our brains ceases there is death. And indeed this is a normal way to think of death and living. But here is the hard part to grasp; the resulting response of sadness is simply taught to us. Yes we are just conditioned to feel sad about a biological death of a being. Some are taught this about humans only, others about humans and animals and even some that are taught this about humans, animals and plants. Do not go out and tell everyone but yours truly was taught to mourn the passing of trees. Yes I sometimes cry at wildfires and the cutting down of trees.

But how we feel about it may be far more a part of who we are.

What to do about this reality?

Really interesting song. It seems a little funny to make millions of dollars off a song about happiness.

A beautiful design on a tomb located longitudinally near a battleground known as Hamburger Hill.

Biological life and struggle is transient.
Biological life and struggle is transient. | Source

Know what you have learned

As is often the case around here we are forced to take a hard look at matters we adults take for granted or just assume. You see we have a little one at five years old. Daily we are confronted with the dual issues of “why” in the immediate and in shaping a young person for the rest of his life. So these issues are not just passing fancies or fads to consider but life forming. Around here, right or wrong, appreciation for all life forms will be taught. Our traditional learned behavior of sadness over the loss of life will be ingrained. But it will not stop there.

In this crazy whacked out microcosm of the earth we call home we will also speak of and have some understanding of soul. In that understanding will be a belief and knowledge that the soul exists, is not made and cannot die. There will be a grasp of the matter that the soul resides in a host of biological form. That the most perfect of these forms is human, although it is far from perfect. And that the death of the biological host is by no means the death of the soul and that that soul is entrusted to God who is perfection.

We will by no means in anyway try to stamp out emotions. They exist and the best we can do is try to pastor them unto greener pastures. Live it, feel it, be it, experience it and learn from it. Be genuine in our emotions. Know them. And above all appreciate them and respect them in others.

Now upward and onward to feelings.

Feelings are the epitome of nature verses nurture.

Let us jump right in with the issue at hand. Feelings are a part of who we are. They encompass and entwine the biological and the soulful. Feelings are OK to have. Feelings are good to have. Everyone has feelings. We do not believe God set out to make mistakes and God included feelings in our makeup. So let us get on board and go with the flow and embrace our feelings. Think of feelings in an “if this then that” mode. In very base terms we can relate to: If I feel hungry I look for and eat food. If I feel fearful I runaway or fight away. (or as is sadly and too often the case, I misread my feelings of fear and direct my attention in the negative someplace else – another issue)

Now about that issue with death. Why would we have feelings about the natural organic cessation of biological functioning? Certainly in a primal setting of hunter or hunted we could envision a sense of relief and gladness that our prey or would be killer is dead. But in our realistically enlightened stage why would we have feelings about lifeblood ceasing? Here is a suggestion. We simply do not have a feeling about it. The closest we could come would be if we had a natural fundamental feeling of acquisition. In other words, a premise that supports the idea that accumulation of persons, places and things is integrated between our souls and our bodies. It does not sound very nice. To put it more frankly; we have a feeling of loss when something dies in the natural. So is fear of loss a natural feeling? Sorry but it just is not. It is raw emotion to suffer sadness at the passing of something. It is purely taught. We are taught from birth to “have”. Our sadness is at the loss of some “thing” that we held precious. That is why we can mourn the loss of a bird that we know and not the loss of a human life on the other side of the world. When you break it down like that it leaves us with an empty feeling. It just creates a void where once we thought there was something real. Hold on now there is good news.

The beauty of creation

Where does man fit into the great rhythm of our world?
Where does man fit into the great rhythm of our world? | Source

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Feelings

The logical, practical, linear scientific mind is left in a quandary if it feels a loss and sadness at the passing of the life force from within a living creature. That mind or that part of all our minds is done for in our grieving scenario. It just makes no sense to feel sadness of the leaving of biological life. But wait just a gall darned moment here. It is real and we really feel it! And do not tell us that our feelings are not valid. Welcome again and come on in and take your shoes off and get comfy in my world. In my world of the spiritual there are vast and endless “justifications” for your feelings of loss. In our biological sharing of time and space we are one. Completely one with every living creature. And most certainly one with all humans who share our likeness and sameness in perspective. In a world where we recognize a spirit within all living creatures great and small there is real reason to mourn the passing of one spirit from our realm. It takes away from us a bit of our spiritual life blood.

We have a wonderful saying in our walk within the world of unadulterated feelings. “There is good news and bad news. First, the bad news; you feel everything more. Second, the good news; you feel everything more.”

Let us wrap this bad boy sermon up.

Today we hope that you do not walk away fulfilled. How nice it is to leave someone with a conclusion of sorts. But today it is better that you leave with a questioning in your heart. Let us reflect and get past our knee jerk taught emotional reactions.How about we stop and actually feel our uneasiness. Let us look inside and come to some understanding with ourselves as to what we truly feel and not just plaster a crack over and move on quickly. Here it is not written to create understanding, it is created for you to write your own understanding.

As is my want on such a glorious Sunday day let me leave you with a prayer. Thank you Lord Creator for my feelings. Let your spirit guide me to become a better steward of such a marvelous gift. Let me appreciate the feelings in both myself and in others as you would have me do. Amen.

How do you feel?

Do you feel uneasy about this whole topic?

See results

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Cam I think you said it very well. When "working" on these notions I am always reminding myself that God did not create us with neat little boxes and lines as far as our self is concerned. Your explanation is wholly useful to an understanding that I can work with. But for me I have remember that we are searching for distinctions in order to make better comparisons and analysis of the here and now. Just finding descriptive words that we can agree upon as meaning one thing and not the other is very helpful. I think you are correct as far as applying the notion to our near physical emotions and feelings. But if we apply them to our spiritual emotions and feelings perhaps they are less separable. I am contemplating the concept of "Feeling emotions (al)" and "emotional feelings" Thank you for suggesting a path with an interesting view.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Eric, I'm now working on this in my head, thank you very much. Feelings, my feelings, are unique and are my way of responding to the world around me as it moves ever forward. Emotions, those learned reactions, are a means of protecting myself. So to me, the difference between the two is that one is a response to life while the other is a reaction. At least that's what I'm working on at the moment, thanks to you. Great sermon, Eric.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      I'll take your advice. My wife and daughter both love hugs!

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks much for that great love from the sky! Sunday at home is a treasure in and of itself. We are "feeling" the rain here and love it.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Great sermon for today and yes, it's Sunday and I'm home..."feeling" good!

      Love the music clips, lovely images specially of that adorable kid. You just gave me something to contemplate about. Nevertheless, I had a good feel, good read!

      Now, feel this----Love from the sky ~ :)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Jackie, you most certainly do and it shows through in the healthiest of ways. I hope today you have wonderful warm feelings of love and grace. I just have to tell someone, we are getting glorious beautiful rain here in So. Cal and the relief to our plants is palpable.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      From the little girl that had to harden her heart to keep her feelings from being hurt so often I still have a soft shell on the inside.

      Beautiful sermon. Up and shared.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Lawrence. So good of you to come by and comment so directly. It is so cool to write about feelings. I like this notion today: You cannot properly write about feelings because writing is thought and feelings are feelings. Or how about this one: "I know how you feel". Wait a second, I do not know how I feel so how do you?

      I reckon I do know two things for sure about feelings. One is that they are my own. And secondly that God gave them to us. Let us go hug somebody and let them feel us.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      I think I got more confused but not a bad or frustrating confused. Maybe tge beyter word would be intrigued but even that wasn't quite right!

      What am I on about? I think I began to see just how complex the software is that the Good Lord uploaded into us to help us cope with the world around us!

      I still don't have any answers but its anazing just how complex our software really is.

      Great hub

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Of course Ed your comment was awfully close to a mirror for me.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mel, just a word of advice from a neighbor --- don't go changing too much. And watch out for those pesky attack birds on your route.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 2 years ago

      Eric ! You sir are an enigma ! One that no matter what has learned how to give back to those who ,like you , let's just say have been there ! Thank you ,my friend for understanding .........well....,My rant !

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Spock is now dead. Spock had no feelings, or was it that he had no emotions? I'm confused. Anyhow, you have given me cause to evaluate my feelings and reassess my sometimes childlike impulses. Your philosophy comes from the soul and is always edifying and uplifting. Wonderful bad boy sermon, as always.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Good morning my friend Ed. I do not really quite yet understand it, but here is my shot at it. Of the men I admire most today, they all have something in common. It is not their current place in life it is their journey. To a one they have all gone through a metamorphism. For some time in their life they have stuffed and abated feelings. And now they all feel them and are at least capable of dealing with them most the time. It may be just an odd reality that we cannot truly "enjoy" and appreciate them unless we have spent time fighting them.

      Sometimes I still just want to shed these butterfly wings and crawl back into my cocoon. But then I take a look at really good men like you who treasure and express feelings so well and appreciate the impact you have on me. And I know I must at least keep on trying.

      Thanks for reminding me that the journey is not yet over as the goal is not yet reached.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 2 years ago

      Eric , Once there was a little boy who decided that if ,IF he was going to survive childhood and who even knows about adulthood , he was going to HAVE to become a rock , So he invented a thing, he thought , called stoicism , he thought that it would keep him safe from ...life ! He had a couple of experiences that seemed a little too hard to handle , so he decided early on that he must hide from all emotion , imagine that . He had seen others do it , he thought , but he just knew that feelings must be an evil , evil thing if they could cause so much trouble in his life .

      So he began to look up , secretly , to those he thought were unemotional , unfeeling , un-hurting , unattached to feelings , Little did he know that one day they would all come to this little itsy bitsy thing called a head and from there they would all come rushing forth at once ! Sometimes that little boy had thought that when that happened - it would be such a breakdown that it would surely "put him under ".

      In the end ,soon enough fortunately, he began to realize that" feelings" were a healthy and necessary part of a healthy emotional journey ! That little boy became a man and now lives normally , like all the others . Oh well , just a little about me ! Anyway keep on giving these heartfelt and healthy sermons ! You may very well be saving lots of "little" boys and girls , no matter their age now ! Blessings and thanks to you !...........Ed

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Faith my sister in Christ, it is great to hear from you and thank you for all your support. Just last night I was contemplating what roles expectations and control play in creating raw emotions. I think you are spot on in recognizing what a pivotal place change has in our emotional state. Change my routines and I get edgy and emotionally charged up. If I lose my perceived control over events and am subject to changes, any changes, I am discomforted. So I grab at any control I can, which is over my emotions, try to put them aside as I take care of business, and eventually that leads to a full lack of control over them. Interesting cycle.

      Thanks for adding such an interesting insight and direction for more understanding.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much Whonu. It is always nice that you let me know you came by and visited.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Denise, thank you for a great overlook of the issues. Truly we are not made up of separate parts but rather many working in concert. We are not mechanical with all aspects working in predestined mathematical discipline. Speaking for me, I am quite aware that much of my emotional state is a result of living for years in fear and a suppression of emotions. And I am certain that my principles and understandings are evolving which causes changes in my core feelings. Even my faith is changing, hopefully growing, and this has major impact. The idea of differences between feelings and emotion seems to be just a linguistic springboard to lead to better understanding and not so much a hard conclusion.

      Thank you for adding such an important message here.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora, we are in the middle of our home being torn apart in order to solve an interior leak with mold issues. It is getting real complicated with emotions running high. So your point is well taken, as all the understanding in the world will not help, technical, philosophical or otherwise.

      So we go to our standby that never lets us down; Prayer and turning it over to God. Thank you.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Amen, Dear Brother Eric! Thank you for that sweet prayer.

      I feel blessed to read your wonderful insights here which have stirred in me a lot of emotion. For me, when there is a lot of change going on in my daily life, I am more emotional and my feelings are all over the place.

      It is funny ...well, not really, when I tend to hold too much in for long periods of time, thinking I have to get things done and don't have time to allow my emotions to surface just yet ...yet, the dam breaks and usually at something insignificant. Then here comes all those pent up feelings. Watch out!

      I know with you having that precious little guy around, you have to be overwhelmed throughout the day with joy.

      Thank you for this on this emotional Monday. I'm sorry I missed it on Sunday somehow.

      Peace and hugs to your and yours always

      Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 2 years ago from United States

      A very nice message and great photos my friend. whonu

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Right on Jo! "I am emotionally thinking", that just says so much. I know I do it and truth be told I like it. One of the most interesting experiences is giving a living sermon to a congregation. You mentally prepare and study and prepare and prepare --- but come time to give it you must just let go, let the Spirit guide and let your emotions flow. There is no more "me", except for those unbridled emotions that do the thinking for you. I love the term "he thinks from his heart". Thanks for bringing this important aspect to this sermon.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Harish thank you for coming by and adding your thoughts. It would seem that we are just getting to a point where the common man is not thought of as crazy for giving this area serious consideration. Our culture here still does not fully accept manly men speaking about feelings and emotions. So us writers have a lot of work to do. Thanks again.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Serenity, it is good of you to come by and leave a comment. What an interesting story you have. The role of the consoler is a true test of our compassion for others. Your people were fortunate to have you there. Thank you

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 2 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      This is a very controversial subject, the difference between feelings and emotions. I have heard others say what you have pointed out here, that we feel innately, and that we experience emotions more from learned reactions. Personally, I have come to the conclusion that our beliefs, thoughts, and experiences all have bearing on both our feelings and emotions, and that the more we learn about them, the more we grow in our understanding of what to do with them and how to change them. Your adage "Live it, feel it, be it, experience it and learn from it" is well said!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, this sermon makes me think more than feel. Such a philosophical presentation, still well done!

      "Feelings make a round peg square just as we are about to insert it into a round hole."

      "Feelings are the epitome of nature verses nurture."

      Let me think some more!

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 2 years ago

      And all God's people said, A-men!

      I really enjoyed visiting with you this Monday afternoon.

      It is exactly what I need. I am sure of my feelings of gratefulness, is because you were led to write this, this Sunday!

      I am emotionally thinking as well as my logical thought analysis.

      Shared, Up and thank you!

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 2 years ago from India

      What a wonderful about feelings ! Eric, emotions are real and natural like anger, fear and pain,but feelings are taught, as you have truly elaborated here. We learn feelings in our specific environment, through education, religion and spirituality. First, we create a web around us, then we become desperate to wriggle out of it. It is when we really come to know the importance or silliness of our feelings that we can develop ourselves in a real sense. This is a thought provoking piece and I still wonder about the real import of this unique hub. Thank you for this great sermon.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Susan, you have been a nice addition to my reading list also. It is nice to have another local as a friend here.

    • serenityjmiller profile image

      Serenity Miller 2 years ago from Brookings, SD

      Interesting and thought-provoking piece. Yesterday morning, I had the amazing (and terrifying) opportunity to pray with an elderly gentleman who is waiting for a new liver, who does not expect to live long enough to receive it. Our pastor had extended an invitation to folks who wanted to pray for healing, but this gentleman didn't care about healing... he's ready to go home to Jesus, and he just wants a little more time to help his family understand that before he goes. Talk about "feelings," man... never have I experienced such a strange and beautiful rush of joy, tragedy, and glory to God. To think, only a few years ago, I lived so cold and closed off from any feelings at all. Who'da thought the best and purest of them can be the ones that hurt so much?

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, I had a good run stuffing any old uncomfortable feelings into a bottle, never to be spoken of or felt. And I must say sometimes it is grueling but I sure prefer this getting to know them by far. As always you are an inspiration for so many good things and I thank you.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Theresa, That was great, thank you for letting us in on your journey. I am a sniveling basket case of an empathic and sympathetic codependent variety. I have to do a gut check inventory of emotions just to keep track of which are mine and which are yours. Theresa I consider it a real blessing to be cursed in such a way. And an extra blessing that we can gather 'round and discuss such important stuff. Thanks

    • Susan Trump profile image

      Susan Trump 2 years ago from San Diego, California

      Nice to be following you Eric.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Coming to grips with my feelings...being able to express them in a healthy manner...sharing them....these things saved my life. Thank you for mentioning my article. This is a beautiful read, Eric. a great way to begin my Monday.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Good Morning Eric - You did an interesting job of unpacking and explaining feelings and emotion. As a teenager and young mother, I tended to be very stiff upper lip. My mother died when I was 25 after three years of a difficult and painful illness. I became an emotional being over night, terribly emotional.

      Now I knew that her death was a blessed relief for her, and she was a convinced Christian, so I had no doubts about her future or that I would see her again...but I missed her terribly, and I had so wanted my three children to know her.

      For the rest of my life I have been inclined to quickly feel other people's loss. I cried very easily. To me, this was a problem in need of fixing; I saw it as emotional instability. A dear, wise Christian friend lovingly chewed me out, asking why I was rejecting the "gift" and "call" from God to compassionately care for and feel with other people in their sadness and loss. My attitude and heart changed after that, and I was able to accept the new emotionally sensitive person I had become.

      Sorry for going on and on. Hadn't thought about all this in a while. Good Hub. Thank you. Theresa

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mary thank you for your wonderful comment. I think that you focus on the right spot, owning our emotions. I still catch myself thinking "where did that come from?" And then I have to take a good look to be sure they are mine and not someone else's.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      I feel like this was a wonderful sermon Eric! Its true we are taught about feelings and emotions, but I think as we age they certainly become our own.

      I am one of those people who cry when they see some commercials. I am emotional. Do I have feelings too? Certainly, and deep ones. I'm sure they were taught to me as a child, to be sensitive to others, but now they are certainly my own raw emotions.

      Lots to think about here dear friend, and I join in your closing prayer.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.