Peak and pass – emotions

By Dave Henning / June 21, 2023

“As we gain resources and support, we can learn to honor the reality that our emotions are designed to peak and pass.  Our value and belovedness do not ebb and flow with every wave.  Instead, these waves simply provide information.”- Aundi Kolber

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”- Jon Kabat-Zinn

In Chapter 7 (“Strength with Emotional Flexibility”) of Strong Like Water, Aundi Kolber stresses that emotions give us clues to what’s going on in our bodies, psyches, and sometimes our spirits.  Above all, Aundi notes, when we view our emotions this way we’re more likely to see our emotions as keys to integration and wholeness.  Rather than viewing our emotions through a shame-based lens, as either good or bad.

Therefore, to heal we compassionately turn toward difficult experiences.  In addition, we provide resources that communicate to our bodies that it’s safe to feel what we feel.

Generally, Aundi observes, three possibilities form the basis of what we feel at any given moment:

  1. an unprocessed event in our past activates the emotion
  2. the present moment brings that emotion to the forefront
  3. a combination of the above

Most significantly, Aundi counsels, it’s vital to remain open and curious about where the emotion we experience is based.  Otherwise, our emotions tend to remain intensified.  Our emotions tell us what they need.  As a result, we need to listen – or they’re going to get louder.

In conclusion, Aundi underscores that God made all of our bodies to move with what we’re experiencing.  Thus, we possess a choice.  To process our life events like they’re a great weight or do it like a dance.  Hence, Aundi exhorts:

“As we learn to dance with our pain and discomfort, we become able to ‘weep with those who weep’ (Romans 12:15, ESV) while also honoring and experiencing ‘inexpressible and glorious joy’ (1  Peter 1:8), NIV).  We enlarge our capacity to be human and offer our ‘with-ness’ to others too.  So let’s put on our dancing shoes (emphasis author’s).

Today’s question: What Scriptures help your emotions peak and pass?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The edges of our discomfort”

About the author

Dave Henning

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